Richter created Abstract Painting No. 439
by photographing one of his own pieces (Oil Sketch No. 432/11
), and projecting the image onto a large canvas, which he traced in charcoal. He completed the larger image with conventional oil paint. To achieve glossy finish similar to a photograph he worked the surface of the painting with brushes and sandpaper.
Abstract Painting No. 439, 1978
200 x 300 cm
Date of work
Gerhard Richter is a German painter. Richter began painting enlarged copies of black-and-white photographs using only a range of greys. He became known for relying on actual subject matter when painting, even for his abstract works. In the late 1970s he stopped relying on real-life subjects but it is said that his paintings retained a ‘second hand look’ that made his works look as though he was still painting an actual subject.