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I've never really warmed up to Richter, though I agree that many of the abstractions are "beautiful". They have a hollowness; a lack of engagement and belief, which typifies the transition between Modern and Postmodern (or some such thing). Like Johns & Rauschenberg, they're about letting the air out of Abstract Expressionism, but in a much cooler, detached manner, without the humor of the Americans. With Ab Ex, a bad painting might be an interesting sort of failure, with Richter, it's more like, "here's a good one, here's a less good one, let's move along". The photo-based works strike me similarly, but the imagery allows for more associative readings. Taken together, his various works make up a larger project, which serves to further deflate the value of any given piece seen in isolation. Again, this "whole greater than the sum of its parts" strategy is characteristically PoMo.
- alex 4-03-2002 3:24 pm [link] [2 comments]