Gerhard Richters concentrated presentation in three Albertinum rooms reveals new pieces from the two groups of works which lend their name to the exhibition: Strips and Glass. The special exhibition is next door to the two galleries in the Albertinums permanent exhibition which are devoted to Gerhard Richter, inviting visitors to make a thorough exploration of the artists work.
One aspect which becomes clear is how strongly Richters creative process as an artist is shaped by the two contrasting methods of coincidence and organised structure.
The pictures from the STRIPS series of works trace their roots back to his Abstract Painting of 1990 (724-4). Richter uses a computer-controlled image process to re-interpret his abstract paintings: he divides the abstract composition into segments decreasing in size, adds their mirror images to lengthen them and recombines the pieces to create something new. The result is a combination of apparently coincidentally positioned stripes and Richter's regulating manipulation. The display shows twelve STRIPS in different formats up to ten metres in length.
In the new reverse glass paintings, for the first time in a large format, a key role is played by colours randomly running into one another, taking on a life of their own.Gloss paint applied to the smooth surface intermingles and merges to form structures until finally Richter presses a sheet of glass into the wet paint, fixing that moment on the glass.
The artists work has included glass and mirrors since as far back as the mid-1960s. Richter is fascinated by sheets of glass, perfectly framing a snippet of reality, and by mirrors, duplicating that reality. In his 2013 House of Cards, the central piece of the exhibition, five panes of glass lean against each other as if by chance. Reminiscent of a fragile house of cards, the piece offers observers a complex set of impressions with image fragments, views through the panes and reflections of the surroundings. The work follows on from the sculpture 9 Upright Standing Panes (879-3), on show in Richters permanent exhibition in the Albertinum
The exhibition Gerhard Richter. Strips & Glass has been organised in collaboration with Kunstmuseum Winterthur, where it will also be shown from 18 January to 21 April 2014.
With my pictures coincidence always tends to play a role, and I like getting an unexpected gift. I feel these pictures have come to me as a gift. --Gerhard Richter, 2013