Gerhard Richter: Prints & Multiples 1966–1993 press release | David Zwirner

On January 27th the gallery will open an exhibition of prints and multiples by German artist Gerhard Richter. The show will feature 96 different editioned works by Gerhard Richter dating from 1966 to the present.

Gerhard Richter accomplishments as a painter are well documented. Recent large scale museum exhibitions of his work in Paris and currently in Bonn have underlined Richter's standing as one of today's most important artists. Less known than his paintings is his body of prints and multiples in his prints.

These techniques are used to print the photographic images that he selects, however Richter often plays with (and boycotts) these techniques by deliberately misprinting his images out of focus or out of register. The resulting blur de-emphasizes the details in the image and undermines any notion of representation. Instead Richter opens the door to many interpretations and celebrates the many possibilities of one Image.

representation. Driven by this dilemma Richter started to use photographic images like snapshots or newspaper clippings of everyday events and situations as source material for his paintings. Once a photo was chosen Richter would project it onto the canvas and proceed to make a painting without any alteration to the given composition of the source photo. In these works Richter questions the notion of representation by presenting a realistic image, that is not once, but twice removed from reality. These paintings, pictures of everyday photographic realities, are easily accessible due to their recognizable and familiar subject matter. On an interpretory and metaphoric level however they offer a variety of possibilities, making it impossible to attach one specific reading or singular intent to these works.

Gerhard Richter's approach to printmaking mirrors the conceptual practices used in his paintings. Central to almost all of his prints are snapshots, originally made with no artistic intent. Just as Richter refrains from introducing the hand of the artist in his prints (he never directly draws onto the printing plates for example), he also avoids the traditional printmaking mediums like the woodcut, etching and lithography and instead pioneers the techniques of mass reproduction such as offset lithography and screen prints in his prints. These techniques are used to print the photographic images that he selects, however Richter often plays with (and boycotts) these techniques by deliberately misprinting his images out of focus or out of register. The resulting blur de-emphasizes the details in the image and undermines any notion of representation. Instead Richter opens the door to many interpretations and celebrates the many possibilities of one Image.

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