Gerhard Richter – Self Portraits / Elinor Carucci – Closer

Gerhard Richter did these incredibly large obscure and abstract paintings.

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Besides his abstract pieces pictured above, he did self portraits that were really useful in my research for Picbod.

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He pictures the body of his participant with such soft tones in relation to Thomas Ruff’s ‘Nudes.’ The paintings are rather eerie and close. To locate the idea of the subject we are forming our vision of what we see and what we feel like we are going to see. We can tell by the painting below that we instantly see a nude body but we don’t necessarily picture in our heads the other aspects of the work such as the stairs to begin with. We slowly dissect and associate the figure within a scene by describing it. If a figure was pictured on a bed lying there nude, we start to think what does the location have to do with the concept; what is the purpose of being nude. We picture the scene not as if it came from a pornographic clip/film, but as a form of artistic portrayal.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 13.32.11Gerhard Richter

  • visual artist
  • wouldn’t consider him just primarily as a painter as his output includes photography
  • abstraction
  • realism
  • expressionist
  • influences
  • John Constable
  • J.M.W. Turner
  • Caspar David Friedrich
  • Arnold Böcklin

Having read a passage from ‘Mysteries of the Rectangle’ by Siri Hustvedt’s Essays on Painting, the section where Richter delivers a voice about his work was captivating. The initiative to


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  • the way he talks about his work is fluid; he understands more about what he wants to do with the environment. Evident in his concise background in visual representation he wants to show his capabilities in all types of mediums.
  • Thick alluring impasto technique
  • vivid visualisation of an image when the brushstrokes are relatively large and unblended
  • seen in his landscape work, the colours and quality is smooth
  • haze, the second layer
  • fogged atmospheres
  • raw
  • abstraction strokes
  • rawness of the natural environment

Elinor Carucci’s Closer showed a very intimate relationship with her family.

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Critical Reflection

From inspiration and having seen Thomas Ruff’s ‘Nude’ and Elinor Carucci’s Mother, I started to plan and make some of my own images of the female nude as research. I thought it was best to understand and have this first hand experience before making judgements and assumptions conforming to what people have said about them.

(A few examples of the research and work will be in the next blogpost.)

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