Gerhard Richter: PAINTING 2012Exhibition | Gerhard Richter By Avram Finkelstein
The human thread.
If there is a thread connecting Gerhard Richter's explorations into the nature of image making in the machine age, it is that there is no thread at all. There is only seeing. No topic or technique is irrelevant to Richter, who turns an equal eye to portraits and architecture, nature and political radicalism. His work is abstract and photographic, mythic and literal. It is broad, to say the least. But the eye is always the subject.
So it should come as no surprise that such a comprehensive mind might have something to say about reproduction and capital in the digital age. His Strip paintings at Marian Goodman Gallery are intricate rituals of reduction -- computer dissections of one of his abstract paintings - that are as much about the increasing implausibility of the human touch as they are about human consumption. Still, no amount of remove can mask the reality that while the work appears to be an overt hammer blow to the steady rise of artisanal practices, it is also a reminder that beneath the deceptive simplicity of the mechanical line, a hand is always lurking. Humanism, it would seem, is still an unavoidable feature of our culture, even within the digital landscape.
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