On View

Landschaft (Landscape)

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Landschaft (Landscape)

Artist: Gerhard Richter (German, born 1932)
Date: 1985
Medium: Oil on canvas
Frame: 42 1/4 × 58 × 3 3/8 in. (107.3 × 147.3 × 8.6 cm.)
Canvas (/image): 39 1/4 × 55 1/8 in. (99.7 × 140 cm.)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Coffin Fine Arts Trust; Nathan Emory Coffin Collection of the Des Moines Art Center, 1994.337
Accession number: 1994.337
Classification: painting
Label Text Richter’s art attempts to document a reality with the knowledge that reality can never be fully recreated. Although at first glance this work looks almost like a photograph, upon closer examination it fades into abstraction. The dark foreground, hovering mist, and blinding sunlight leave large sections of the work unclear. Some areas are rendered in sharp focus, while others are blurred. Every element of the painting seems to be a metaphor for the artist’s belief that reality is always uncertain. July 22, 2020
While Richter has worked in many painting styles, in the 1980s two primary focuses developed: richly painted abstractions and realist paintings that are photographically based. That Richter often paints both abstract and realist works in the same year is an expression of his world view regarding the complexity of life. The realist paintings are often tinged with a nostalgia for representational oil paintings of earlier centuries. Richter's paintings wed that kind of traditional mastery with the more contemporary look of photography. Of all his realist subjects, landscapes have been the most consistent and richest vein. This landscape painting has the artist's hallmarks of contrasts: in this instance light and dark, lands obscured by mists and open to clear viewing. Like many of his works, it is tinged wih mystery, but in this instance, there is as well radiance because of the bright sun near the top. Source: NEWS July August 1995
SignedRichter 1985 (verso c,l)
Inscription586-2 (verso u,l)
Richter (verso c,r)
Exhibition History"Commitment, Community and Controversy: The Des Moines Art Center Collections," Des Moines Art Center, January 24, 1998 - May 10, 1998

"Return of the Hero," Luhring Augustine, 130 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012, October 15 - December 17, 1994
Published ReferencesLeslie Miller, "Return of the Hero," The Grenfell Press, Production by Michael Josefowicz, Red Ink Productions, Printed in Iceland, 1994, exh. cat. color ill.

AN UNCOMMON VISION: THE DES MOINES ART CENTER, Des Moines Art Center, 1998, ref. p.233, color ill. p.232
entirely unexpected