Daniel Richter (b. 1962)
signed and dated 'D.Richter 2005 1/05' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
30 x 40cm.
Painted in 2005
Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin.
Galerie Haas, Zurich.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2010.
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Daniel Richter – Die Palette 1995-2007, 2007 (illustrated, p. 183). This exhibition later travelled to The Hague, GEM - Museum voor actuele Kunst and Malaga, CAC Malaga - Centro de Arte Contemporaneo.
Zurich, Galerie Haas, Daniel Richter: Imitators be There, 2010 (illustrated, p. 28).
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Lot Essay

‘I am interested in more of a hysterical, paranoid view of the world’ – Daniel Richter

Unveiled as part of Daniel Richter’s solo exhibition at the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 2007, the present work is a vivid example of the artist’s distinctive figurative language. Four spectral figures stare out of the canvas, their expressions masked and ghoulish. Bright, acidic yellow and red tones pick out their features, as if seen through an infrared lens or night vision goggles. This searing, hyperreal quality is typical of Richter’s practice, which draws upon newspaper photographs, magazines, history books and other printed sources. Transformed through abstract painterly techniques, his subjects become embroiled in a strange, otherworldly realm, frozen as if caught on surveillance cameras.
Richter draws inspiration from artists such as James Ensor, Max Beckmann and Edvard Munch, as well as a rich German Neo-Expressionist legacy stretching from Georg Baselitz and Jörg Immendorff through to Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen. Indeed, it was as a studio assistant to the latter that the artist began his career in the 1980s, following a stint designing posters and record sleeves for German punk bands. Following on from his early abstract practice, Richter began to move towards a more figurative idiom at the turn of the millennium, often leaning towards subjects with historic, cultural or political overtones. Though charged with flickers of anarchism or protest, his works largely evade specific commentary, appearing before the viewer like fragments from an incomplete story. Such is the case with the present work, whose protagonists hover like prisoners within a timeless, placeless void.

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