271008: Serpentine Gallery: Gerhard Richter – 4900 Colours: Version II

Serpentine Gallery: Gerhard Richter – 4900 Colours: Version II Calculated coincidence By letting dice dictate the positioning and alignment of 49 nearly identical metal paintings, the principle of calculated coincidence follows consequently through Gerhard Richter’s complex oeuvre 4900 colours: Version II. 4900 colours was created at the same time as Richter’s glass window was unveiled last August at the Cologne Cathedral. The cathedral window is made of 11.500 blown antique-glass squares in 72 colours derived from original medieval colours. A specially developed computer program generated the seemingly coincidental colour arrangement. Method, colour chart grids, as well as the colours themselves, form the basis for 4900 colours, made of 196 square panels, each with 25 squares. The Serpentine Gallery exhibits this work in 49 different units, each comprised of 4 panels. The installation has some similarities to Donald Judd’s Minimalism, and one could perhaps compare John Cage’s composition methods to those of Richter. Complementary to the colour choice and the process of production, Richter applies the principle of aleatoric coincidence (dice, computer program) and attempts to eliminate the subjectivity of painting. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh emphasizes this diagrammatical subordination of the individual aspects and talks about a quantitative regime of abstraction through methods of data collection and registry. This strategy of abstraction is in line with the tradition of the calculated coincidence in Richter’s works. The integration of digital media and industrial manufacturing methods as well as questioning abstraction and the tradition of painting constitute the consequent continuation of his artistic program. Richter on his own work: “This concept is the chance, the possibility to create paintings, which I have not made.” Yes, 4900 colours: Version II is far more than a footnote of the Cologne Cathedral window. Serpentine Gallery W2 3XA London, Kensington Gardens, until 16. 11. 2008 www.serpentinegallery.org

Serpentine Gallery
W2 3XA London, Kensington Gardens
Tel: ++44-20 7402 6075, Fax: ++44-20 7402 4103
Email: information@serpentinegallery.org
Öffnungszeiten: 10-18 h

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