Contemporary Art

An Abstract Masterpiece from the Apex of Gerhard Richter's Career

By Sotheby's

Breathtakingly beautiful and endlessly engaging, Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild from 1987 is a stunning archetype of the artist’s best-known series of Abstrakte Bilder. The monumental and sublime work a highlight of the upcoming Contemporary Art Evening auction in New York on 14 November.

I n 1987, Gerhard Richter was at the pinnacle of his artistic development. By then he had fully dedicated himself to the use of the squeegee as his primary painterly tool. Measuring more than 100 inches in both height and width, the present work is rare in its size and rarer still inasmuch as it remains in private hands. Of the 18 works from this period of this scale, 13 reside in high-profile museum and corporate collections including the Hess Collection, SFMoMA, the Froehlich Collection, the Montreal Museum of Art and the Saint Louis Art Museum.

An abstract squeegee painting by Gerhard Richter from 1987
Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1987. Estimate Upon Request.

Created on two, large-scale panels, Abstraktes Bild displays exceptional depth, chromatic intensity and intricate layering of pigment, showing Richter at the height of his mastery. An unequivocal masterpiece of the artist’s painterly oeuvre, the monumental work was selected for inclusion in the widely acclaimed 1988 Carnegie International exhibition. Following that very high profile viewing, the work has been unseen by the public for almost three decades.

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