A Moment of Abstract Genius | Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild | Expert Voices | Sotheby's

London | 12 October 2023

'It really is a transcendental experience, standing in front of a painting like this.'

Pulsating in its rich chromatic power, Abstraktes Bild is a captivating example of Gerhard Richter’s highly celebrated body of Abstract paintings. Executed in 1986, at the apex of Richter’s career-breakthrough, the present work is at once compositionally complex and impressive in its gestural power, delivering a theatrical play of chance and control, culminating in a spectacular harmony of vivid colour. Following a corpus of nascent abstractions executed between the years of 1980-85, the present work heralds a decisive break and an undeniable achievement as Richter relinquishes planned compositional elements of form and structure in favour of the indeterminate scrape and accretion of the squeegee. On the surface of the present work, a striking scarlet layer dances across the canvas, its undulating movement creating a rhythmical play across the surface. Between the rippling curtain of red, layers of canary yellow, emerald green and royal blue coalesce into an exuberant symphony of hues.

This masterpiece is being offered as the star lot in the Contemporary Evening Auction taking place at Sotheby's London on 12 October, presented in partnership with CELINE.

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