Thursday, December 22, 2011

Richter left?

Gerhardt Richter. What can I say? The guy's pretty awesome. I really respect anyone who can work with the variety that he displayed.

This post is about a trip we took to a special exhibit at the Tate Modern on Gerhardt Richter, a man who's been producing art for decades. I mean decades. Some of his earliest stuff is about WWII, and his latest stuff is still coming out.

What does he do? Well, he is a modern artist and he kind of helped develop the contemporary art world. (There's a difference between modern and contemporary art, by the way; by “modern artist” I meant he is living and working now, and “contemporary art” is the style he works in, which is the movement currently happening, I guess. Modern art is a former movement and has become part of art history, really.) But Gerhardt Richter is skilled. He makes photorealism stand at attention—some of his works are indistinguishable from photos until you get close enough to notice the brushstrokes. Then he does some that are photorealistic until he messes with them—blurs edges, changes things, makes it hazy—to create the effect he wants. And then he does some things that are not even vaguely realistic, working with huge canvases and lots of paint and huge squeegees. I kind of like the effect squeegees have on art. We'd seen some of his stuff previously that was on permanent display at the Tate Modern, but there was so much more and some of it so much more colorful. Oh, yeah, and he works with sculpture—especially glasswork.

All in all, color me impressed. (Ha ha, 'cuz he works with art. Get it? Get it? Okay, just slap me now.) Beautiful work, and again, does well across mediums and styles. I am not so good with that. I think it takes impressive brainpower and skill to change up your style.

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