Gerhard Richter's abstract works are the subject of this extraordinary book, which brings together eighty works from collections around the world.
This publication is the first to focus solely on the abstract strategies and processes contained in Gerhard Richter's body of work. In the early 1960s, the artist began to call painting into question, an exploration that continues to occupy him to this day. In the 1970s, he responded to the rejection of painting by creating a series of monochrome works in gray. Moreover, he viewed the color gray as a means of addressing political themes without depicting them in an idealized manner. In his Inpainting series of the 1970s, Richter made brushstrokes and the application of paint his subject. In other works, he photographed small details from his palette and transferred them onto large canvases in a photorealistic manner. In his color charts, he subjected painting to an objective process by leaving the arrangement of the colors to chance. Since 1976, Richter has created a series of abstract works by applying paint with a brush, scraper, and palette knife, alternating between conscious decision-making and random processes.
Rarely seen outside the United States, The Phillips Collection's American masterworks trace the development and diversity of modern art in America from the end of the nineteenth century through the post-war decades after World War II. Organized into thematic sections, the story unfolds chronologically from the great romantic realist painters, like Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, to the psychological insights of Edward Hopper, the abstract landscapes of Arthur Dove and Georgia O'Keeffe, and, finally, to the heroic triumphs of the abstract expressionists, like Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko. Assembled over half a century by Duncan Phillips, the collection is not only a reflection of one's man's personal taste, but also a continuous snapshot of the changing character of American art in the twentieth century. Including essays by European and American scholars, this publication of 68 works by 50 artists tells the story of nearly a century of dynamic vision and innovation in American modern art.