Gerhard Richter Recaptures His Youthful Pessimism

THE DAILY PIC: Using glass, the great painter returns anxiety to his work.


This is a new piece by Gerhard Richter, called 7 Panes of Glass (House of Cards), on view in Marian Goodman’s stunning London branch that just opened. I’ve felt for a while now that Richter’s work had become too deluxe and polished for its own good, and too easygoing: What had happened to all the crossings-out–formal, semantic, political, even metaphysical–of the early paintings? The work in today’s Daily Pic, however, is all about fracture and illegibility. The reflections and refractions of Richter’s giant panes make it almost impossible to read the room they are set in, and the things and people alongside you in it. Dan Graham, another great Goodman artist, has also played with glass and space, but Richter’s piece is a Graham in a cyclone. It reflects our times by disturbing our reflection.

Another benefit of this Richter: It pulls and tugs at the pristine splendors of Goodman’s London space, urging it to remember its tough New York roots. (Photo by Lucy Hogg)

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