Rot-Blau-Gelb. 1973. Oil on canvas. Elger vol.II 339-3. Verso of canvas signed, dated and inscribed with the work number "339/3" as well as with a direction arrow. 98.5 x 92 cm (38.7 x 36.2 in).
We are grateful to Dr. Dietmar Elger for his kind support in cataloging this lot.
PROVENANCE: Private collection Southern Germany (obtained directly from the artist).
EXHIBITION: Gerhard Richter, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich 1973.
LITERATURE: Gerhard Richter. Bilder / Paintings 1962-1985 (cat. and catalogue raisonné), Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf 1986, p. 382. Guitemie Maldonado, Images d’abstractions, in: connaissance des arts. hors-série (Gerhard Richter), no. 538, 2012, color illu. on p. 46.
Made in 1973, five years after our “Stadtbild“, the work “Rot-Blau-Gelb“ shows an entirely new approach to surface and color: The artist applies the three primary colors red, blue and yellow in thick dabs onto the canvas and blends them with broad brushstrokes. On the one hand, an infinite number of color varieties come into existence owed to the usage of the primary colors. On the other hand, Richter allocates an own position within the work to the act of painting in structural form. In this work concreteness can only be found in form of associations on the observer‘s side and no longer provides the starting point of his artistic creation, as it was the case with previous works. Through the employment of the three primary colors red, blue and yellow Richter did not only bring up the question of an absolute abstraction, one of the most fundamental questions of Modern Art – as it had already been discussed by Piet Mondrian at the beginning of the 20th century, he was also occupied with conceptual painting techniques, which were adopted by, among others, the British artist Jason Martin around two decades later.