Gerhard Richter: Landscapes
No genre has fascinated Gerhard Richter so consistently throughout his career as that of landscape. Ever since his softly overpainted "Views of Corsica "series of 1968-69, the artist has revisited and reprised its possibilities, creating black-and-white townscapes based on newspaper picture and amateur photographs, mountain and park scenes with heavy impasto, illusionistic seascapes in subtly gradated tones and paintings worked with abstract overpainting. Frequently these paintings interrupt or quietly sabotage the transcendent horizon of the Romantic landscape, but the image presented is not exactly ironized as in other paintings of Richter's. "I felt like painting something beautiful" was the artist's response, when asked about the preponderance of landscapes in his works around 1970. Fifteen years later, he further elaborated that "my landscapes are not only beautiful or nostalgic, with a Romantic or classical suggestion of lost Paradises, but above all 'untruthful'... by untruthful I mean the glorifying way we look at Nature--Nature, which in all its forms is against us, because it knows no meaning, no pity, no sympathy..." Richter's approaches to landscape are various indeed, yet uniquely and recognizably his. The first edition of "Gerhard Richter: Landscapes "was published in 1998; it quickly sold out, was reprinted in 2002 and rapidly went out of print again. This new edition is the first to expand on the 1998, and brings us up to date with Richter's enduring fondness for this subject.
Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in 1932, and rose to prominence in the early 1960s as a member of the Capitalist Realism movement alongside Sigmar Polke and others. His first solo show was in 1964 at Galerie Schmela in Dusseldorf. Today he is ranked among the world's greatest painters.