H.P. (jah allo)
One of the most influential painters of his generation, Richter’s work continues the lineage of post-war German painting that includes artists such as Werner Büttner, Martin Kippenberger, and Albert Oehlen. In the 1990s he gained critical acclaim for his colorful abstract paintings and large-scale, psychedelic figurative works. Combining elements of pure formal abstraction with representational images culled from popular culture and the media, his striking compositions pushed the limits of his chosen medium and posited a new approach to the genre of contemporary history painting.
The exhibition presents a selection of paintings that continue to explore Richter’s new methodology, which he adopted in 2015, marking a radical shift in his image making. Abandoning a preconceived narrative structure, the new works prioritize the gestural and improvisatory possibilities of the medium. Richter’s large-scale compositions are achieved through the use of various techniques of paint application. Subtle gradations of color provide the background onto which oil-stick outlined spectral silhouettes are rendered in thick swathes of color, seemingly taken straight from the tube. Embodying a violent tension and featuring bold colors, the canvases combine abstract elements with propulsive figuration.
“In Daniel Richter’s work … elements run into nervous, luminous, often neon-colored linear-graphic approximations which evoke infrared photography and geographical contour lines. The short, violent strokes strengthen the suggestive scenarios and add to the provocative disruptions of situations that are eerie enough in any case. The structure and the narrative aspects evoke history paintings, whose syntax, however, disquiets us through the selection of place and event and which are additionally alienated through the scrambled letters in the picture titles.” Eva Meyer-Hermann, The real is something that cannot be known, only loved, Daniel Richter: Hello, I love you, 2015