Daniel Richter

Daniel Richter, a German Artist, born in 1962, is well known for large scale paintings inspired by political and contemporary culture. Richter’s work has ranged from focusing on abstraction during his earlier career, and shifting towards these more realistic paintings, like the below painting of a mountainous landscape. I love the choice of colour here, which is full of vibrance and energy, whilst also highlighted with pastel hues of pink in the clouds above. There is a frenzied over tone with quick brush marks and colourful accents, but also a calmness in the solidity of the strong mountains.

Dominanz der Annalen, 2012-2013
Oil on canvas
78 7/10 × 118 1/10 in
200 × 300 cm

I tried to recreate the above ‘Dominanz Der Annalen’ translated to English as ‘Dominance of the Annals’, using gouache on paper. I really enjoyed using the range of strong colours, especially the dusky pink clouds juxtaposed against the evergreen foreboding sky.

The next work I chose by Richter is ‘Ich war Nicht dab’ translated in English to ‘I was not there’. For me the work feels apocalyptic, and has a resemblance of some kind of hellish hot cavern, or volcanic mountainous range. I’m not sure what Richter means by ‘I was not there’, did he mean he didn’t suffer this hellish place? Why then would he paint it if he had not experienced it? Was it a denial on his part of a turbulent time in his life he does not wish to acknowledge? Or is he commenting on how he was feeling when he was painting this work? He was there painting it of course, but emotionally he was not there, he was distracted by something outside of this work. Although I do feel as though the white, waterfall as it appears on the right hand side of this painting offers an element of hope or reassurance amongst the volatility of the painting, which again weaves in an air of calm.

Ich war nicht dabei (I Was Not There) , 2011
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 200 x 250.5 cm. (78.7 x 98.6 in.)

I again enjoyed recreating a response to Richters work, segmenting the parts of the volcanic mountainous range into different colour blocks, and meshing them together with these raggedy and energetic lines, using gouache on paper.

I find Richter’s work highlights emotion in the colour palette, and settings depicted. Which in some sense surprises me, I don’t usually enjoy landscape paintings or generic paintings of mountains, but Richter injects a sense of vitality and emotion into these scenes, transforming them far beyond their representational selves into something deeper and darker.

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