Article by Karlheinz Essl and an interview with Daniel Richter.
Published on the occasion of his exhibition at the Essl Museum,this catalogue presents the large-format figural works by Richter, which roused great international attention for the artist. They are shown in connection with the abstract paintings created in the 1990s. Two very recent small-format series complete the show. They surprise by their strong presence, an aura that so far one has perceived only in Richter’s large museum paintings. In one series the artist reflects on the topical issue of borders, the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 but far from being heroic, they present the terrible tristesse inherent in borders in a compact form.
Daniel Richter has a furioso approach to the instruments of painting which he uses in a very contemporary manner. His large-format works of recent years reflect on social and political issues. Of great atmospheric density, his compositions graphically convey the attitude and concerns of the artist and his art will hardly leave anyone cold. In scenes teeming with figures, Richter weaves strands relating to art-history, the mass media and pop culture into idiosyncratic, narrative tapestries.
In the abstract paintings of the 1990s with their somewhat psychedelic flavour, Richter often developed individual painterly questions for each and every painting. They demonstrate a very experimental approach to painting, and in them the ground was laid for the virtuoso use of painterly means which makes Richter’s art so impressive today. The exhibition at the Essl Museum presents works from both phases in his career and provides ample room for comparative analysis.
Published by Essl Museum