Gerhard Richter’s “Painting 2012” are on view at Marian Goodman Gallery in Manhattan. Thin, horizontal lines of color are printed on paper, mounted on aluminum honeycomb, pieced together, and covered with Perspex to create physically enveloping wallscapes, or float-mounted in middle-class living room sized frames. They are serape-like and headache-inducing. Viewing them is a sensory experience rather than a statement. If there is a statement at all, it is on the component parts of painting, which Richter has made more eloquently before.
The New York Time’s Peter Schjeldahl called the paintings “Richter-manqué,” (that’s Pretention for “a failure”), which I think is unfair (Schjeldahl). An accompanying book “Patterns” shows Richter’s process using the original “Abstract Painting”: an image of the painting was divided into vertical pieces digitally, in increasing numerical squares from 2 to 8190, and then the narrow strips of color reflected and repeated to create a new work (Richter). The in-between stage looks oddly similar to a Ukranian cross stitch sampler. Though the resulting paintings are not terribly interesting, I like seeing an idea carried forward, and where someone like Richter would take it. “Painting 2012” mirrors the self-referential pixelated stained glass he made for the Cologne Cathedral in 2002 from his 1974 painting “4096 Colors”—the number of colors possible on a 12- bit computer monitor. Rather than reflecting the limits of technology, Richter’s “Strip Paintings” are the limits of the viewer’s ability to observe what technology can produce.
Gerhard Richter’s “Painting 2012″ is on view at Marian Goodman Gallery through October 13. http://www.mariangoodman.com/exhibitions/2012-09-12_gerhard-richter/
Greg. 8,190 Details From A Picture. Greg.org. 6 October 2011. Web 22 September 2012.
Greg. Gerhard Richer Strip Show. Greg.org. 28 September 2011. Web 22 September 2012.
Karakotsya, Olesay. Cross-stitch ethnic Ukraine pattern. Deposit Photos. 16 December 2011. Web 22 September 2012.
Richter, Gerhard. Abstraktes Bilde. 2012. Web 22 September 2012.