Anne and myself went to the opening of the Gerhard Richter Portraits retrospective on Tuesday night at the National Portrait Gallery. It was a great idea to group together his portraits for a show , I’ve never seen a gallery do this before, most tend to focus on the rather incongrous juxtaposition of his abstract works and his figurative so this was a fresh take. He is regarded as one of the most significant living painters, I guess alongside Freud so this is quite an important show.
I first discovered Richter when I brought Sonic Youth’s still seminal album “Daydream Nation” which used one of his candle paintings on the cover and I remember at the time really liking it. The show looks at his portraits based on photographs from newspapers, magazines, found photographs and family albums. Extremely objective paintings, which is something I tend to aim for. Some people have said to me that my work sometimes looks like Richter’s but I don’t really think so, I think his is more objective and many of the paintings suggest a blurred movement in the paint which I assume is achieved with a flick of a dry brush while the oil is drying. This is perhaps the most striking thing to me in Richter’s paintings but is rarely talked about.
Crazy magical wizard David Blaine braved the previously stone throwing London public to see the exhibition and is pictured here talking to Richter. If only I had brought a deck of cards with me, he could have taught me a trick or two. Anne is also pictured with Anthony Gormley. We had a pint with James Lloyd afterwards at The Chandos across the road who won the BP Portrait Award in 1997 I think it was.
For more information about the show, click on the following link. Click on the images to enlarge.
February 28th, 2009