Little Richter Panels

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, CR 448/1, 1979, 25x 36 cm, oil on wood panel, image via Christie’s, who sold it in Amsterdam in 2017

This odd, thick, little 1979 Abstraktes Bild is not only a rare example of Richter painting on wood, it has the same dimensions as that odd, thick, little 1964 grey Abstraktes Bild from the other day.

When they sold it in 2017, Christie’s tried to make it sound like this visibly multi-layered painting was part of Richter’s squeegee development process. But I think that thick, tectonic red surface got crinkled by something else, like plastic wrap.

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild CR 947-2, 2016, oil on Alu-Dibond, 27 x 35.5 cm, image via davidzwirner

Anyway, it turns out, though he definitely had an Alu-Dibond phase in the 1990s, Richter has not made that many paintings on wood panels. There were a couple of 2016 squeegees on wood in Zwirner’s 2023 show of “last paintings”; in fact, two of them were in Richter’s last show at Marian Goodman in 2020, too. One Alu-Dibond painting from 2016 is almost the same size as these wood ones. I imagine on a hard support, the squeegee just hits different.

Previously: Das Erste Abstraktes Bild?
Gerhard Richter Painted: a look at his paintings after his “last paintings”