6
6

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED NEAPOLITAN GENTLEMAN

Gerhard Richter
WIND
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Artist's Resale Right
Purchase of lots marked with this symbol will be subject to the payment of the artist's resale right.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
2,500,0003,500,000
LOT SOLD. 3,086,400 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
6

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED NEAPOLITAN GENTLEMAN

Gerhard Richter
WIND
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Artist's Resale Right
Purchase of lots marked with this symbol will be subject to the payment of the artist's resale right.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
2,500,0003,500,000
LOT SOLD. 3,086,400 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

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London

Gerhard Richter
B. 1932
WIND
signed, dated 1982 and numbered 506 on the reverse
oil on canvas
150 by 120 cm. 59 by 47 1/4 in.
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Provenance

Galleria Lucio Amelio, Naples

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1983

Exhibited

Stuttgart, Galerie Max-Ulrich Hetzler, Gerhard Richter: Neue Bilder, November - December 1982

Naples, Galleria Lucio Amelio, Gerhard Richter, March 1983

Literature

Exh. Cat. (and catalogue raisonné), Düsseldorf, Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (and travelling), Gerhard Richter: Bilder 1962-1985, January - September 1986, p. 396, no. 506 (text)

Exh. Cat. (and catalogue raisonné), Bonn, Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Gerhard Richter: 1962-1993, December 1993 - February 1994, p. 174, no. 506 (text)

Dietmar Elger, Ed., Gerhard Richter: Catalogue Raisonné 1976-1987, Vol. III, Ostfildern 2013, p. 294, no. 506 (text)

Catalogue Note

Wind is an exceptional abstract work from an important phase of Gerhard Richter’s career that has been in the same private collection for 25 years. It is an essay in colour; a perfect exemplar of the artist’s ability to variegate texture, timbre, tone, and hue in order to create paintings of stunning quality and astounding complexity. As with some of Richter’s most famous abstract paintings of the 1980s, the present work is not designated with the artist’s generic Abstraktes Bild title and is instead given a specific name – Wind – which translates directly between German and English. Indeed, the strong sense of lateral pull across this work, articulated through pinks and blues, is entirely redolent of a breeze gusting upwards across the canvas from left to right. As Richter explains: “We only find paintings interesting because we always search for something that looks familiar to us. I see something and in my head I compare it and try to find out what it relates to. And usually we do find those similarities and name them… When we don’t find anything, we are frustrated and that keeps us excited and interested” (Gerhard Richter in conversation with Robert Storr, in: Exh. Cat., New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting, 2002, p. 304). Hailing from 1982, this work also marks an important ontological milestone in Richter’s oeuvre, charting the journey of his praxis from photorealist exactitude into abstract splendour.

In the first two decades of his mature practice Richter had established an unimpeachable reputation as a photorealist painter of utmost skill. It was only between 1980 and 1987, during which time the present work was created, that he focused his energies on the creation of a vibrant corpus of works that radically reconfigured the aesthetic capacities of abstract painting. This shift in depictive styles ran in direct opposition to the contemporaneous popular art discourse, which had been dominated by Pop art and Minimalism while Richter was preoccupied with precise figuration, and which moved towards the kind of aesthetically aggressive figurative painting propagated by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georg Baselitz in the early 1980s whilst Richter focused on abstraction. Thus, at each stage of his career Richter was able to carve out his own critical space and assert his own aesthetic identity. Richter’s abstract works from the 1980s and beyond cannot be seen as a reprisal of any previously established mode of artistic communication. Particularly when compared to the wild and immediate mark-making of his Neo-Expressionist contemporaries, the mode of depiction propagated in works such as Wind denotes his peerlessly methodical inquiry into the absolute limits of abstraction in the painted arts.

Richter’s genius lies in his unique ability to contrast alternate painterly modes and tonalities. In the present work, geometric fields of vivid pigment are juxtaposed with paroxysmal yet purposeful marks, and blurred gradation is met with scraped veils of diaphanous colour, resulting in a canvas rife with limitless magnetism and supreme power. Executed on the cusp of his full espousal of the squeegee as a decisive painterly tool, the present work recounts Richter’s movement away from experimentation with anti-painting – as defined by the Farben (Colour Charts) and Grau (Grey Paintings) – and instead explores the phenomenological limits of colour by indulging in a vibrantly energetic abstract compositional mode. Evocative of colour theories that Neo-Impressionists such as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac utilised to create vibrating painted surfaces, the continually varied tonality and intensely numerous variations of contrasting hues within each millimetre of the canvas create an intensely unstable perceptive field. Richter’s surrender to the laws of chance also allowed for abrupt disruptions to otherwise flowing transitions of colour – in this case outbreaks of violent monochrome red and canary yellow. Thus a new sense of layered depth is instilled by the inherent incongruity of the contrasting colours that are layered over one another. Like feedback interruptions to radio signals these momentary blips to the visual field conjure uniquely enigmatic presences that shatter confidence in our own perceptive capacities. In the present work, Richter achieves transparency and opacity, solidity and depth, in a stimulating ocular space that is both physical and cerebral.

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

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London