Grau (nr. 365/1)
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
'Grau (no.365/2)' by the German artist Gerhard Richter is a completely grey painting. It is done in oils and has a grainy texture, probably as a result of using a paint roller.
Gerhard Richter made several grey paintings. With broad or narrow palette knives, paintbrushes and paint rollers, he applied all sorts of coarse and fine-grained textures onto the canvas. In this series of paintings, he used only the colour grey because this was most neutral for him and was least like an illusion. They are paintings which do not tell stories and do not refer to anything other than themselves. In this series, Richter shows the painting as a surface, the skin of the painting.
His work is very diverse and his themes vary from photo-realistic landscapes and portraits to enlarged colour samples from paint shops. His work is an examination of the different possibilities of painting. He is prepared to paint everything in every conceivable way as long as his work does not start to belong to one particular style. He does not follow any system, has no programme and does not have any personal preferences either. Richter considers that theorizing about art is pointless because every theory simply replaces another, and all the arguments are based on coincidence. He said: “I do not have a motif, only motivation.” He is a painter and wants to show what is possible with and in painting.
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