Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac opens an exhibition of works by Daniel Richter
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac opens an exhibition of works by Daniel Richter
Daniel Richter, Bernd on the run, 2023.Oil on canvas © Daniel Richter.

LONDON.- An exhibition of new work by Daniel Richter reasserts the German artist’s ever-inventive approach to depicting the human body. For his second solo show at Thaddaeus Ropac in London, he presents a group of paintings that portray biomorphic forms in a series of twisting, metamorphic poses.

Music and its countercultures have been of deep importance to Richter throughout his life, and their influence is felt in much of his work. ‘Nightmare’, a song by the German-Austrian composer Hanns Eisler (1898–1962), stands as a touchstone for this new group of paintings. Taken from Eisler’s monumental cycle of songs the Hollywooder Liederbuch (Hollywood Songbook; 1938—48), ‘Nightmare’ describes the composer’s enraged response to his persecution by the US House Un American Activities Committee, following his emigration from Germany to Los Angeles. Against the backdrop of McCarthyism and fuelled by a fear of alleged Soviet influence in the United States, Eisler was erroneously charged for holding communist sympathies, ultimately prompting him to leave the country. The lyrics of ‘Nightmare’ brand the committee members ‘the rat men’ in a critique of the composer’s unjust treatment and the wider governmental suppression of left-wing intellectuals and artists.

‘The Eisler song is a sarcastic and bitter reminder that current events have their historic precursors,’ notes Richter. Choosing to illustrate his political concerns in an indirect manner, in these paintings the artist offers a turbulent treatment of the body. Sweeps of paint exceed the black lines of the figures, undermining the cohesion of the human form and suggesting its potential vulnerability to external forces as he oscillates between modes of abstract and figurative expression.

Since 2015, Richter has broken down compositional distinctions between background, foreground and subject to create renditions of the body in metamorphosis. While previous series of paintings drew upon visual source material as diverse as pornography and a historic postcard of injured World War I soldiers, this new group of paintings echoes Richter’s observations of the world around him. As he describes, ‘it’s based on random sketches and notes, [an] old woman passing by, [a] child at the dentist, boys playing basketball, stuff like that.’ Appearing alone or in small groups, these knotted figures are articulated using strong, graphic black lines. Limbs, facial features and hunched torsos come in and out of focus amongst a swirl of brightly-coloured smears of paint. Set within vibrant red environments, the contorted forms that populate these works vibrate with an energy imparted through the artist’s bold palette and dynamic mark-making.

Understanding change to be an essential component for artistic evolution, in this exhibition Richter continues his stylistic experimentation with the flat backdrops of his earlier works. Here, his figures are depicted against a grey background that is then almost entirely covered by a layer of bright red paint, isolating the bodies within a sea of vibrant colour. In so doing, he reverses the painting process, laying down the background as one of the final stages of the work. Endlessly seeking new approaches to painting within his practice, he notes, ‘I think it’s good to change. I had milked the cow, now I am riding the pig.’ Embodying this investigative approach to artmaking, these works are as much experiments in colour, line and technique as figurative studies, carving out a distinct place within the artist’s wider oeuvre and the landscape of contemporary painting itself.

Today's News

October 10, 2023

A dazzling art collection, hiding in plain sight

National Gallery of Art acquires work by Sam Gilliam

Maurizio Cattelan's Comedian, composed of a banana duct taped to a wall added to NGV Triennial

'Robert Irwin and Mary Corse: Parallax' explores the intersections and convergences between artists and light

Dense in paint and often expansive in scale, Rheingantz's landscapes now on view at White Cube

Site Santa Fe invites visitors to 'scream until you can't breathe' in new exhibition by Nicholas Galanin

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac opens an exhibition of works by Daniel Richter

'Fragments of Epic Memory' is now open for viewing at the Portland Museum of Art

First solo presentation at Victoria Miro of works by New York-based Iranian artist Ali Banisadr to open

The quiet reading room that gets trippy after dark

Hamiltons Gallery presents exhibition of photographs taken in Skye, Scotland by photographer Albert Watson

Chinese art from a German family collection offered at Bonhams Cornette Saint Cyr

Milestone's Oct. 28 auction to launch multi-year series devoted to toys from famed Wisconsin museum

Group exhibition devised by renowned Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey opens at Turner Contemporary

Mazzoleni and Kukje Gallery present 'The Paradox of Proximity: Agostino Bonalumi and Lee Seung Jio'

Noonans hold three coin sales in a week which total hammer price of £515,885

Ten exceptional new pieces by the American designer Chris Schanck now on view at David Gill Gallery

In 'Naive and Sentimental Painting' artist Liu Ye examines art-historical legacy of portraiture

'Blood on Blood', a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Austyn Weiner, opens today

Sequences Biennial announces full artist list for 11th Edition, 'Can't See'

Review: In 'Bite Me,' taking aim at familiar teenage tropes

Harry Smith was a culture-altering shaman. Can the Whitney contain him?

Alison Jacques opens 'Sheila Hicks: Infinite Potential'


Exploring the Enchanting World of Anime: A Gateway to Anime-Zutto

Flyfish Review - A Platform that makes it Easy to send and Receive Payments

Recognizing Employee Burnout Before it's too late

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful