Today Over Twitter: Richter Rules

by Whitney Kimball on October 16, 2012 · 6 comments Today Over Twitter

Photo: Sotheby's

Surprise, surprise: Richter’s prices keep going up. His Abstract Painting (809-4) set a new living artist record at London Christie’s on Friday, where it sold for $34.2 million. You can imagine our astonishment when we learned this morning that Sotheby’s will be jacking its ask for another squeegee painting. Kelly Crow of The Wall Street Journal broke the news:

Blake Gopnik complained that Richter’s squeegees are too polite:

And ARTinfo’s Julia Halperin, a voice of reason:

Unrelated: mere hours after Liz Gannes reports that Upworthy received $4 million to find non-cat-related viral videos, Vice tweets this one of surfing dogs.


JosephYoung October 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

the movie just went up on netflix. coincidence?

Brian Fernandes-Halloran October 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I saw the giant Richter show in Berlin and was so confused. The paintings looked like art school experimentation with poor technique, little specificity. I actually thought, oh no this guy is color blind and its too late to face it. Am I taking crazy pills or are there folks who feel the same way?

Paddy Johnson October 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I hate those squeegee paintings, and I’m sure art history will soon forget them. He’s made so much other good work though, that anything that he touches becomes expensive.

Brian Fernandes-Halloran October 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

ok good, I feel better already :) Ema nude on staircase was powerful. still I think his application makes his works look way better in digital form.

Andy Perkins October 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

Are you joking? I saw some of these at the art institute in chicago—wait wait wait, poor technique? Richter?

Brian Fernandes-Halloran October 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

Usually when I go to a show of an artist whose work I have seen pictured in books or on the computer, I am blown away by the many dimensions that emerge when seeing it in person. But Richter’s was the opposite His work seemed to embrace a flatness, maintaining a distance of some kind of a viewing that was lost in translation. Conceptually I get it. But the execution does not seem to embrace the medium’s potential, rather it feels like an exercise (especially the squeegee ones) . When Alex Katz plays with flatness he manipulates color to still come alive, vibrating and filling the space between the viewer and the canvas, establishing a new sense of space. Richter just seemed to sit there, with all colors in a piece tightly hugging lackluster grey or fresh from the tube over-saturated messes. But hey, to each their own. Believe me, you are in the majority.

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