Gerhart Richter was interviewed following the opening of the current Tate Modern show. I had the impression from this interview that he was less self assured than his web site suggests. http://www.gerhard-richter.com/
He appeared to be a more searching and a somewhat discontented questioning artist, but his web site stamps his authority and his place in art history firmly and without uncertainty.
The Tate has acquired representative examples of his work which have a place in the permanent collection, and which the Monks were allowed to photograph. However the remainder of his work is very much controlled and catalogued online in a very modern way, openly capitalising his work, uncomfortably so.
Nevertheless I am drawn to consider his preoccupations, and wonder why the Monks are not doing as well as him.
Alongside this article are a number of key words, and phrases found in interviews with Richter.
You cannot avoid the word “smudging”, used to describe the abstract paintings on a grand scale, and the precisely painted deliberately “blurred” out-of-focus photographs, all of which are current obsessions of the Monks.
Richter's paintings are deliberate and humourless, and yes, Germanic, but the roots are nevertheless Warhol, Lichtenstein, the American abstract expressionists and photo realists, all-American classics. Richter is however inclined to remove the joy and optimism, excepting the occasional abstract painting that sings like the Sound of Music. Warhol created a chaotic world and then successfully and deliberated marketed that chaos. Richter brought order to otherwise chaotic formal processes and his current work now seems to inhabit every major public gallery throughout the world.
Mrs Monk is an American classic who has recently been extremely busy producing smeared abstract paintings, and I reacted to this by producing the above “photo-realistic” painting of a teenage girl, who shall remain nameless. By some strange coincidence the Monks have morphed into Gerhart Richter, without realising it.
We embrace the irony.
The above Triptych consists of one Richter and two Monks