Abstract Painting (750-1), 1991
Among the most recognized and influential artists working today, Gerhard Richter is difficult to classify because he simultaneously paints in a staggering variety of styles, veering freely from realism to abstraction. Abstractions such as this one have constituted a large part of his production since the mid 1970s.
Abstract Painting (750-1) is from a series that Richter created between 1988 and 1991. Beginning with a ground of bright colors, such as red, yellow, blue, or green, he applied additional coats of pigment. He covered each thin layer of paint with a sheet of plastic that was pulled away to create a blend of overlapping colors, textures and shapes. Richter applied the paint quickly, but the process was time consuming, allowing the artist the opportunity to evaluate and change each work as it evolved. Although this dense composition has no recognizable imagery, it conveys a sense of movement not unlike the experience of looking out of a car window at the landscape streaking past.