Gerhard Richter's striking Abstraktes Bild leads Phillips' Hong Kong 20th Century & Contemporary Art Sale

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Gerhard Richter's striking Abstraktes Bild leads Phillips' Hong Kong 20th Century & Contemporary Art Sale
Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (774-1), 1992 oil on canvas, 200 x 180.3 cm. Estimate: HK$ 80,000,000 - 120,000,000/ US$ 10,260,000 - 15,380,000.

HONG KONG.- On 1 December, Phillips’ Hong Kong Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art in association with Yongle Auction will be led by Gerhard Richter’s prominent Abstraktes Bild (774-1), 1992, estimated at HK$80-120 million/ US$10.2-15.3 million. Coming to the auction market for the very first time, this visually arresting masterpiece is an exquisite example of Richter’s technical and conceptual approach in painting. Executed in 1992 following his breakthrough retrospective at London’s Tate Modern the previous year, the present work exemplifies the purest articulation of Richter's finest period of abstraction.

Jonathan Crockett, Chairman, Asia, Phillips, said: “We are delighted and honoured to present Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (774-1), painted during a climactic moment in the artist’s career as he achieved unprecedented critical acclaim. The early 1990s is widely regarded as the height of the artist’s aesthetic enquiry into the nature of abstraction, and his reputation as one of the most influential living artists was cemented in a series of major exhibitions held during the period. With top prices for works by Gerhard Richter at Hong Kong auctions having all been achieved in the past two years, it is clear the demand from Asian collectors for exceptional artworks by this German master is stronger than ever. We are proud to offer this masterpiece from the artist’s most highly celebrated abstract cycles as the leading highlight of our Fall season in Asia.”

The magnificent striations of Abstraktes Bild represent an innovative development in Richter's technique in the 1990s. He repeatedly returned to striped and gridded compositions, suggesting his exploration into unifying bright colours with the more muted, melancholy palette to which he was periodically drawn towards. In the present work, this is shown in the visual interplay between layers of deep red and brighter blues and greens. The foundational layer of Abstraktes Bild (774-1) is executed in a deep red pigment, highly characteristic of Richter’s work from this period. The artist’s Abstraktes Bild series celebrates his mastery of the squeegee technique, widely considered one of his greatest contributions to art history. His left-to-right, stop-and-go motions of the squeegee stimulate the viewer's tactile senses by producing build-ups of paint, lining and rising above the hypnotic and aqueous columns like tides, giving form to yet another dimension of the work.

One of the most significant contemporary artists working today, Gerhard Richter’s innovative approach is currently being celebrated in a major retrospective at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art in Japan. Having just celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year, Richter’s work was the subject of shows across three cities in his home country Germany and his first grand solo exhibition in Tokyo. Garnering formidable institutional acclaim for decades, numerous Richter abstracts already belong to major museums and public collections worldwide.

Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world. In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services.

Yongle Culture Group is an arts and cultural company dedicated to offering top quality collectibles. Yongle Culture Group’s businesses spanning art auctions, acquisitions and financial leasing, the company is committed to providing excellent services to its worldwide clients, including art appraisal, exhibitions, cultural exchange and IP developments. Yongle aims to promote traditional Chinese culture while creating cultural dialogue between modern and contemporary, East and West.

Beijing Yongle International Auction Co., Ltd. was established in 2005 and has the qualification of Class I cultural heritages auction issued by China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage. Yongle Auction dedicated expertise in the collecting categories of Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, Modern and Contemporary Art, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Fine Jewels and Luxury, Rare Books, Rubbing and Manuscripts, Rare Stamps and Coins, Fine and Rare Wines and Teas, Trendy Art, and Digital Art. Find out more on Wechat: Yongle Auction.

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