oil on canvas on wood
21 x 29,5 cm (8 1/4 x 11 5/8 in.)
verso signed and dated '18.12.1997'
For Richter, abstraction is a way of "bringing together the most diverse and contradictory in the most possible freedom in a lively and liveable way" (Benjamin H. D. Buchloh). In the group of abstract works he has been reflecting on the painterly process as an interplay of intention and coincidence since the 1980s. The choice of colours and the sequence of layering are predetermined by the artist, but the condensation of the layers of paint and the emergence of structures are left to the squeegee. In this intensive creative process, paint elements and structures are applied layer by layer with brushes, squeegees and palette knives, already existing ones are overlaid by new ones, erased or exposed again by scratching. The traces of the tools and layers of paint often merge into structures of a spatial or landscape character, but without solidifying into a recognisable object. Some of Richter's abstract paintings pass through more than thirty states, of which no more than a hint remains at the end; and yet they play a decisive part in the finished work. The abstract paintings thus clearly testify to their process of creation on the one hand, but on the other hand also conceal it.