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Gerhard Richter

Landscape near Koblenz


Gerhard Richter
Born in Dresden in 1932


Landscape near Koblenz




Oil on canvas


140 x 200 cm


Purchase, Caroline Durand Fund, Deirdre M. Stevenson Fund, Murray Vaughan Foundation, Royal Trust, Michael MacKenzie, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest and Pierre Thomas, inv. 1988.6


International Contemporary Art

In 1963, Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg staged a demonstration in support of what they called “capitalist realism.” This event accompanied their search for a new way of painting that would avoid the dogmas of both Socialist Realism and abstraction. Richter’s solution came to him via popular photography, whose intrinsic qualities — the smooth perfection of the silvered surface, the grainy blur caused by enlargement — he would painstakingly copy onto canvas. “I paint like a camera,” he said. As an example of the landscape genre (a recurring feature of Richter’s art since the 1960s), this misty Landscape near Koblenz conveys in a contemporary idiom the sublime quality of a luminescent dawn that recalls the work of the German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich. “My landscapes are not only beautiful or nostalgic, with a Romantic or classical suggestion of lost paradises, but above all ‘untruthful’". The beauty of a landscape, each thing that delights us, the harmony of colours, the peace, the violence of an atmosphere, the softness of the lines, the magnificent spaces, all that, are projections that could be erased so as to see only what is loathsome and ugly.

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