Gerhard Richter Panorama Tate Modern 2011

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Gerhard Richter Panorama Tate Modern 2011

Notes on a stunning show. The collection here although large provides only a pint-sized version of the colossus GR. It is 120 minutes worth of deep contemplation on image making, and the very normative physicality of the works is comforting, you know exactly where you are with yards of canvas and large sheets of glass. And of course it is a wonderful history lesson

I found having to travel through the lunch counter to get to the final room a real minus and again personally, found the Cage paintings a great disappointment. The catalogue tried to mislead me too. It refers to the paintings, or rather their paint, as variously "evoking the surface of a gently running river", "thin mist", "concrete wall"(!) Earlier today I read a quote of GR in which he avowedly rejected wanting to ever represent 'things' fully and I am not sure at all that the purpose of abstraction is to remind us so directly of such plodding mundanities as mist and concrete. But alas I did find the Cage paintings weightless, drab, more desolation than than the epiphany, giving way in me to a grim chuckle that if the pictures were just 'i have nothing to say and I am saying it' and embracing the random then here was grim proof that it does rather hardly ever come off. But thats history for you, written large by the winners, even if the mark-making is out of control. I had very much better get myself back there and check before the end of the first week of January 2012.

Posted by: rcpainter

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