Eis (Ice)
signed 'Richter' (on the first page); numbered '24/90' (on the last page)
oil on the covers of the artist's book 'Eis'
20 x 12 x 1cm.
Executed in 1981, this book is number twenty-four from an edition of ninety, each unique
Galleria Pieroni, Rome.
Private Collection, Switzerland (acquired from the above in 1984).
Acquired from the above by the late owner.
H. Butin, S. Gronert & T. Olbrist, Gerhard Richter Editions 1965-2013, Ostfildern 2014, no. 58 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 227).
Rome, Galleria Pieroni, Gerhard Richter. EIS, 1981.
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Lot Essay

Marbled with incandescent reds, yellows and blues, the cover of the artist’s book Eis (Ice) (1981) was crated using Gerhard Richter’s iconic squeegee technique. The artist dragged and smeared lacquer pigments across card to conjure a small-scale jewel of a painting, which was subsequently folded to become the book’s unique dust-jacket. Richter’s famed method creates a dialogue between accident and design, with the final result determined by chance as much as by the artist’s hand. ‘Each picture’, he has said, ‘has to evolve out of a painterly or visual logic: it has to emerge as if inevitably. By not planning the outcome, I hope to achieve the same coherence and objectivity that a random slice of Nature (or a Readymade) always possesses’ (G. Richter, interview with Sabine Schütz, 1990, The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings and Interviews, 1962-1993, Cambridge, MA, 1995, p. 216). The artist’s close relationship to nature is beautifully illuminated in the present work: the book contains his own black-and-white photographs of ice floes, snow-capped mountains and seascapes taken on a trip to Greenland in 1972. The palette chosen for the cover echoes the scenery’s elemental hues, seeming to flood the images inside with suggestive colour.

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