St John, 1988
is from a series called the ‘London Paintings’ – each piece is named after one of the chapels of Westminster Abbey. The titles are not meant to be descriptive, but refer to the associations connected with the artist’s visits to London. Since 1980 Richter has made his abstract paintings by manipulating different spatulas, loaded with paint, across areas of the canvas. As it is impossible to control the precise distribution of the paint, a degree of chance determines the final appearance.
200.5 x 260.5 cm
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas 200.5 x 260.5 cm © Gerhard Richter 2020
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.