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Elbe : 31 Monotypien, 1957

by Dietmar Elger

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The Elbe monotypes were made by Gerhard Richter in 1957, just one year after he had graduated from art college in Dresden. Abstract, somewhat melancholic and comparatively small in scale, these 31 works were placed in the safekeeping of a friend when Richter fled the GDR in 1961, and have never previously been published. They are here reproduced in their original full-size format, on chamois-colored A4 paper, in a beautiful large-format edition. It was not until 2008 that Richter signed, numbered and titled the sequence, recuperating it back into his oeuvre a half-century later. The Elbe monotypes foreshadow Richter's later abstractionism, and are fascinating in their subtle oscillation between figure, landscape and abstraction. In an afterword, Dieter Schwarz explicates some of the particularities of Richter's process, which utilized a rubber roller invented by Richter himself.
  petervanbeveren | Jan 4, 2021 |
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