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Gerhard Richter

Woman going down the Staircase


Putting our sources in the spotlight

From the beginning of this practice - and for more than 50

years now -  Richter carefully recorded

                all the photographs having nourished                   and inspired his work as a painter in a

                collection in several volumes that he has

                baptized "the Atlas" . Today rich

                thousands of images arranged on  more than

                800 sheets of large format, this im-

                mense photo album has always been  

                Richter's eyes as important as the                 works  that he took from it. So that

                as early as 1972, when the Atlas had only 315 images, he decided to exhibit its contents in the same way as his paintings. An operation repeated many times since, as if to invite the public to enter its universe  and to contemplate in turn these photos, banal or sublime, to which he owes so much.

The German Gerhard Richter, who is one of the most  important figures of the 20th and 21st centuries, has produced throughout his career  a

work  very heterogeneous, ranging from  the hyper-

the most advanced realism  to the abstraction

more radical . But what made him known,

in the 1960s, these were  the paintings

which he himself described as "photo-

paintings". From photographs -

taken from newspapers or his albums of

family  - Richter makes canvases of 

large format reproducing the image ori gi-

nal with, often, a blur effect introducing a distance with reality as with the photograph itself. A way for the artist to free himself from the question of the subject and its interpretation to concentrate solely on his art: painting.

Gerhard Richter, Atlas, Plate 13 , 1964

What we can take away:

We all have projects that are close to our hearts, ideas that we are proud of  and that  We were inspired, directly or indirectly, by already existing concepts. Revealing these sources of inspiration takes nothing away from the value or even the originality of our ideas. On the contrary  this makes it possible to define their origins, and therefore to make them better understood and appreciated...  while demonstrating a healthy  humility. 

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