“Gerhard Richter”

Three key lots at Sotheby’s, London

A trio of paintings pushed up contemporary-art sales at Sotheby’s on October 7 in London; the sale totalled an overall sum of £48 million, while the estimate was for £24 million. 91 % of the lots found buyers. A diptych by a young Gerhard Richter, Garten (1982), went to a telephone bidder for £10.2 million. “Richter’s paintings from the start of the 1980s were long underestimated,” declared Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s director of contemporary art for Europe. He adds: “They found a commensurate level at this sale.” Meanwhile, Basquiat’s orange-dominated oil painting, produced when the artist was at the height of his glory, in 1982, was the most expensive lot out of the paintings presented at the evening sale. It was bought by a telephone bid from a collector who acquired it for £10.6 million, after four bidders in the room also battled for it. Finally, the third work was Peter Doig’s Grasshopper (1990), going for £5.9 million to another telephone bidder. Bidders from 44 countries attended the...

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Gerhard Richter disowns early works

Gerhard Richter refuses to include some of his early works in his catalogue raisonné. The decision of the artist raises questions about the power of an artist over his work and his artistic legacy. Richter was born and raised in Dresden, Germany. In 1951, he enrolled in the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and later attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. From 1962 to 1968, he adopted a realistic and figurative painting style, very different from his current work. Richter is now editing his own catalogue raisonné, which normally includes every single work of art he has created throughout his career in order to be exhaustive and academically accurate. However, according to Tagesspiegel, the painter has decided to exclude works from his early West German period from the catalogue. The main consequence of Richter’s decision concerns the owners of these works, as it will inevitably diminish the works’ value. Richter’s involvement with his own catalogue has provoked a more general debate: should an artist be able to shape his own artistic legacy or should the task be left to art historians? Richter’s work is currently being exhibited at the Albertinum in Dresden, Germany, until 27 September...

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Hasso Plattner threatens to remove artwork collection from Germany

Hasso Plattner, co-founder of the SAP association, has threatened to remove his artwork collection from Germany and create his own foundation in the United States, in response to a law amendment on the cultural heritage protection legislation. The billionaire had planned to bequeath his collection to the Potsdam Barberini museum if the law amendment is refused. His collection is composed of nearly 250 works, including those of Monet and Munch. His choice is motivated by the fear that the museum cannot sell some of his works to support itself. Hasso Plattner has cited the example of the Boston Museum of Fine Art to justify his choice: it sold a Monet painting to fund its renovation. Hasso Plattner has decided if the law is accepted, he will build a museum for his collection in Silicon Valley. The bill by the Minister of Culture Monika Grütters is controversial: the artworks possessed by German nationals cannot be sold abroad until they have obtained an export license. Georg Baselitz and Gerhard Richter have both threatened to withdraw their paintings from German...

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Gerhard Richter threatens to withdraw works loaned to German Museums

German artist Gerhard Richter has threatened to withdraw the works he loaned to German museums “to place them on the market quickly and sell them” if a German cultural heritage protection bill is passed. Following Georg Baselitz, Richter is the second German artist to oppose the government bill. Unlike his compatriot, Richter has not removed the works from German museums where they are exposed, arguing that it was too early. If ratified, this law will give the State the opportunity to restrict the export of certain German art. Any owner of a German art object older than 50 or whose value exceeds € 150,000 must declare it to the Ministry of Culture to obtain an export license. It is the latter that will allow the artist or owner to sell the item overseas. If the work is classified by the relevant committee as a “significant national cultural heritage”, it cannot be sold. The Minister of Culture Monika Grütters, defends the project as it would identify and preserve the German heritage. Georg Baselitz withdrew works that had been loaned to German museums: the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz and Dresden Albertinum museum had surrendered many works of the...

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Christie’s and Sotheby’s Post-War and Contemporary sales fetch total £240 million

More than £240 million was made in sales by Christie’s and Sotheby’s over the past month in their Post-War and Contemporary auctions. ArtNEWS reported, using data from Skate’s, the half of this £240 million was fetched by the work of just three artists; Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly, and Francis Bacon. The other half was fetched by the work of 60 artists, demonstrating the huge discrepancy between prices. Richter alone created 26% of the total, compared to Twombly’s 13.9% and Bacon’s 10%. Other important artists included: Yves Klein, with 6.8%; Lucio Fontana, with 6.6%; Andy Warhol, with 4.5%; and Jean-Michel Basquiat with 4.4%. The highest selling piece of the period was, naturally, a Richter piece which sold for £30.4 million at...

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