A Gerhard Richter Grey Painting for LACMA

LACMA has been given a 1966 Gerhard Richter painting, Portrait Wachenfeld (104-3). It's one of the series of grey paintings, both photo-based and monochrome abstractions, that were pivotal to Richter's later art. Now on view in the Ahmanson Building, Portrait Wachenfeld is a gift of the late Robert M. and Mary Looker, the couple responsible for recent bequests of paintings by Max Beckmann and Lyonel Feininger.

At LACMA Portrait Wachenfeld joins Richter's 1988 scraped abstraction (St. Andrew) and a 1998 photo-installation (48 Portraits).

Here's Richter on the many metaphysical shades of grey:

"Grey. It makes no statement whatever; it evokes neither feelings nor associations: it is really neither visible nor invisible.… It has the capacity that no other color has, to make 'nothing' visible."

"I think grey is an important color—the ideal color for indifference, fence-sitting, keeping quiet, despair."

"The grey paintings… possess beauty. And in this case, it's not a carefree beauty, but rather a serious one."


Anonymous said…
Paintings in the photo-realism category are fascinating to me. That's why I wish the Broad had more works by Chuck Close. I notice lots of people gather in front of the one major work of his that the Broad has displayed since its opening.

As LACMA acquires more works, such as the gift from the Looker's, then its very expensive redevelopment which will reportedly contain even less gallery space than the museum has now, makes little to no sense.