Gerhard Richter Honors Artist John Cage in Abstract Paintings

Reflecting on the indeterminacy of the artist’s music.

Art
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Gagosian’s New York outpost is currently showcasing Gerhard Richter’s poignant series of Cage paintings that were initially shown at the gallery’s Los Angeles space and the artist’s immense retrospective entitled “Painting After All” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In his practice, Richter blends visual elements from naturalism and abstraction while also engaging in conceptual themes across painting and photography. For this selection of pieces, he focuses on the materiality of his painting medium by approaching the canvas with various squeegee techniques.

Richter’s Cage paintings appear as dilapidated structures from a post-apocalyptic world. Subtle vibrant tones such as yellow with tints of cream also appear in the compositions to introduce depth and a sense of patterning. Still, the artist leaves it to chance and champions an intuitive approach to painting this heavily-layered series that truly showcases his fascination with the obscure.

More precisely, the paintings were inspired by the influential composer and artist, John Cage. “ The paintings are titled after influential composer, artist, and philosopher John Cage (1912–1992), whose music Richter was listening to when he produced the series. Cage’s pursuit of indeterminacy in music, reflected in his use of the ‘I Ching’ and other chance operations as compositional tools, has always resonated with Richter, who has compared his own process to the act of arranging musical notes into a score,” said the gallery in a statement.

Accompanying the paintings is a selection of abstract drawings that the artist made during a single work session during the summer of 2020. The artist’s drawings are separate from his paintings, acting as therapeutic studies that seemingly inform his larger works. Check out select works in the slideshow above and then head to Gagosian’s website for more information. The exhibition is on view through June 26.

Elsewhere in art, the Worcester Art Museum pays homage to the baseball jersey in latest exhibition.

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