Sale: 530 / Evening Sale / The Hermann Gerlinger Collection, June 10. 2022 in Munich Lot 95

 

95
Gerhard Richter
L 1, 20.1.84, 1984.
Watercolor, graphite and gouache on paper
Estimate:
€ 70,000 / $ 81,200
Sold:
€ 118,750 / $ 137.750

(incl. surcharge)
L 1, 20.1.84. 1984.
Watercolor, graphite and gouache on paper.
This work is listed in the online catalog of watercolors. Lower right signed and dated. Once more signed and dated on the reverse. On smooth wove paper. 11.7 x 29.4 cm (4.6 x 11.5 in), the full sheet.

• Watercolors constitute a small but important work group in the artist's oeuvre.
• The online catalog raisonné mentions just 8 watercolors in this special format, one of them is in the MoMA, NY.
• Gerhard Richter's works on paper are intuitive documents of spontaneity.
• Shown in the exhibition "Gerhard Richter. Aquarelle" at Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in 1985, which was the first museum show of his watercolors.
• Five watercolors by Gerhard Richter from the same year are at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
.

We are grateful to Dr. Dietmar Elger for his kind expert advice.

PROVENANCE:
Private collection Southern Germany.

EXHIBITION:
Gerhard Richter. Aquarelle, Graphische Sammlung der Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, January 19 - February 17, 1985 (illu. on p. 94).

"I only dared to make watercolors this, no last year. Before that I had tried only very few times."
Gerhard Richter, quoted from: D. Elger and H. U. Obrist, Gerhard Richter. Text 1961 bis 2007, Cologne 2008, p. 154.

In 1985 Gerhard Richter reported in an interview with Dorothea Dietrich: "[..] I have worked exclusively with oil paint for years. It is such a rewarding medium. You can do everything with it, paint over, wipe away, scratch off, apply thinly or liquidly. [..] [Question:] You also rarely showed your drawings. Why is that? [Answer] Yes, there is something to it. And I only dared to draw very few drawings. It was only this year, no, last year, that I did approach watercolors. Before that I only did it very rarely" (quoted from: D. Elger and H. U. Obrist, Gerhard Richter. Text 1961 to 2007, Cologne 2008, p. 154). In Gerhard Richter's online catalog raisonné, our sheet is listed as one of the first works created in 1984: On January 20, four watercolors of this unusual landscape format were created, the series was continued with four more sheets in same format on January 22. All other watercolors in the following years are not so strongly aligned horizontally.

On the basis of his findings from his abstract work, Gerhard Richter explores the material peculiarities of the watercolor and uses its properties creatively. Some of the pigments stretch to the edge of the paint application, some gather in slightly shiny islands. A color landscape emerges, which is given a rhythm with a few pencil drawings or interrupted by a slightly greasy application of paint. Light, glow, sun are possible associations of the colors that are applied transparently, partly on unpainted paper. This peculiarity, too, is only evident in the early abstract watercolor sheets of this year.

The artist appreciates the challenging work process that is only possible with this technique - pouring, dripping, applying paint - because the result cannot be planned exactly. This is how "nonchalance" (G. Richter, in: Dieter Schwarz, Gerhard Richter: Drawings 1964-1999, Düsseldorf 1999, p. 7.) comes about. In other words, in contrast to the oil painting described above by Richter as "grateful" (because it can be corrected), it is the medium of the watercolor, which is more difficult in its randomness, that fascinates him here.

In Gerhard Richter's watercolors, the principle of chance and serial work meet. He develops the small-format, luminous works in temporally compressed and intensive work phases. Our sheet was created in just one day, January 20, 1984, along with three others of this unusual, oblong format. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, is in possession of the four sheets G.A.1-4 (January 21, 1984) that were created one day later and another sheet from that year. In 1985, works in this medium were exhibited for the first time in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, among them this sheet.[EH]



95
Gerhard Richter
L 1, 20.1.84, 1984.
Watercolor, graphite and gouache on paper
Estimate:
€ 70,000 / $ 81,200
Sold:
€ 118,750 / $ 137.750

(incl. surcharge)