Stadtbild. 1968. Oil on canvas. Elger 178-7. Catalog raisonné of paintings 178-7. Verso signed, dated, titled "Stadt (S.7)" as well as inscribed with dimensions and work number by a hand other than that of the artist. 53 x 43 cm (20.8 x 16.9 in). From the homonymous series of eight paintings from 1968. Next to the large-size "Abstract Pictures", Richter's black-and-white photo pictures from the 1960s are considered the artist's most-sought after works on the international art market.
PROVENANCE: Private ownership Krefeld. Private collection Northern Germany (acquired from aforementioned in 1978, since in family possession).
EXHIBITION: Gerhard Richter, Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf 1970. Gerhard Richter, Galerie Heiner Friedrich, München 1970.
LITERATURE: Gerhard Richter, catalog of 36th Venice Biennial in 1972, illu. on p.64. Gerhard Richter, Bilder/Paintings 1962 -1985, Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf 1986, illu. on p. 75. Gerhard Richter. Werkübersicht / Catalogue raisonné 1962-1993, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn 1993, vol. III, illu. no. 178-7.
This work “Stadtbild“ from 1968 was made at Richter‘s point of transition from his early representational black-and-white photo pictures and the abstract works that came into existence as of the mid 1970s. While the motifs of his earlier works – such as “Onkel Rudi“ – are clearly recognizable despite the blurring, the city pictures from the late 1960s show an entirely new tendency: Still kept in various shades of gray, the depicted cityscape merely emerges from the variation of light and dark parts. Intersections are no longer wiped, as it was the case with his earlier works, instead they are intentionally placed side by side in casually applied pastose colors. The resulting picture seems to be entirely detached from its concrete model and gains in rhythmical dynamics. The abstract value of this work is increased by the diminished image section that Richter chose. The actual cityscape can only be identified from a distance, making it a good example of an absolute abstraction which the artist sought to render.