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Townscape Madrid

Stadtbild Madrid
Townscape Madrid

1968 277 cm x 292 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 171

Oil on canvas

If one looks at the large-format square townscapes [CR: 171, 175–177-3, 249–251], specific features of the artistic execution can be discerned.

In Townscape Madrid [CR: 171] streets, trees and buildings are clearly structured and easily recognisable. Some townscapes which were painted a little later on, such as Townscape Paris [CR: 175], Townscape D [CR: 176] and versions of Townscape F [CR: 177/1-3] and Townscape PL [CR: 249–251], appear to have been painted more quickly and less precisely; many details vanish due to the gestural and pastose application of paint. In Townscape Paris in particular, it is difficult to distinguish streets from houses.

Because of the missing details, the large-format cityscapes recall aerial photographs of post-war bombed-out cities – a parallel which Gerhard Richter himself draws in retrospect: 'When I look back on the townscapes now, they do seem to me to recall certain images of the destruction of Dresden during the war.'1

Gerhard Richter's artistic examination of figuration and abstraction in the townscapes also seems to play with distances: from afar the pictures can easily be identified as cityscapes, however, should the beholder move closer to the painting, the depiction dissolves into expanses and strokes of white, grey and black.

The artist plays with the viewer's urge to identify what is depicted, and it seems as if Richter himself tries to fathom when the image ceases to be recognisable.
Richter describes his preoccupation with bird’s-eye views of cities as 'abandonment of the concept of interesting content and illusionistic painting; a spot of paint should be a spot of paint, and the motif needn't have a message or allow for interpretation.'2 Nevertheless, in this series Gerhard Richter does not completely depart from his originally concrete motifs, as underlined by the choice of the descriptive title Townscape.

1 Comments on some works, 1991 in: Gerhard Richter: Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961–2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, p.262.
2 'Work Overview', 1968 in: Gerhard Richter: Text, p.53.

Notes prepared by editorial team

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, USA (long-term loan from a private collection)


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This artwork is included in the following publications:

Title Author Date

Issue

01 January 2020

Publisher

Yale University Press, New Haven

Details

Hardback, 269 pages

ISBN

9781588396853

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions

Notes

This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition "Gerhard Richter: Painting After All", 4 March 2020 - 5 July 2020, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and 14 August 2020 - 19 January 2021, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Artwork Mentioned: pp. 71, 247, 268
Discussed: pp. 68
Illustrated: p. 119 (colour)

Exhibitions

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Gerhard Richter: Painting After All Wagstaff, Sheena / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. 2020

Issue

01 January 2017

Publisher

Duke University Press, Durham

Details

Softcover, 163 pages

ISBN

9780822370017

Language

English

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 115-117
More Details
Unconsolable Contemporary: Observing Gerhard Richter Rabinow, Paul 2017

Issue

01 January 2012

Publisher

Édition du Centre Pompidou, Paris

Editor

Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille

Details

Hardback, 304 pages

ISBN

978-2844265746

ISBN

284426574X

Language

French English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Discussed: pp. 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81

Exhibitions

More Details
Gerhard Richter, Panorama: une rétrospective = a retrospective Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine 2012

Issue

01 January 2012

Publisher

Prestel, München

Editor

Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille

Details

Hardback, 305 pages

ISBN

9783791351896

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 89, 74-79

Exhibitions

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Gerhard Richter: Panorama: Retrospektive Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine 2012

Issue

01 January 2011

Publisher

Taschen, Köln

Details

Hardback, 807 pages

ISBN

9783836525725

Language

German

Category

Monographs
Artwork Illustrated: p. 615 (colour)
More Details
Das Buch der Symbole. Betrachtungen zu archetypischen Bildern Ronnberg, Ami 2011

Issue

01 January 2011

Publisher

Marsilio, Venezia

Details

Softcover, 219 pages

ISBN

9788831711128

Language

Italian

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 71, 118
More Details
Il bordo del mondo: La forma sguardo nella pittura di Gerhard Richter Garbin, Emanuele 2011

Issue

01 January 2011

Publisher

Tate Publishing, London

Details

Softcover, 288 pages

ISBN

1854379453

ISBN

978-1854379450

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 74-78

Exhibitions

More Details
Gerhard Richter: Panorama: A Retrospective Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine 2011

Issue

01 January 2010

Publisher

Tate Publishing, London

Details

Softcover, 96 pages

ISBN

9781854379641

Language

English

Category

Monographs
Artwork Discussed: pp. 65-69

In this publication, eminent American scholar and curator Robert Storr offers an authoritative consideration of September, Richter’s 2005 painting made in response to the attacks on the WorldTrade Center of 11 September 2001,

...
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September. A History Painting by Gerhard Richter Storr, Robert 2010

Issue

01 January 2009

Publisher

University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL

Details

Hardback, 408 pages

ISBN

9780226203232

Language

English

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 158, 201, 367, 368, 373

Gerhard Richter has been widely regarded as a publicity shy artist. However, the biography Gerhard Richter. A Life in Painting gives an insight into Richter’s personal history as well as into the development of his artistic œuvre.

...
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Gerhard Richter. A Life in Painting Elger, Dietmar 2009

Issue

01 January 2008

Publisher

DuMont, Köln

Details

Softcover, 415 pages

ISBN

9783832190651

Language

German

Category

Monographs

Notes

Corrected and extended new edition.

Artwork Mentioned: pp. 180, 225, 248, 399

Gerhard Richter has been widely regarded as a publicity shy artist. However, the biography Gerhard Richter, Maler gives an insight into Richter’s personal history as well as into the development of his artistic œuvre.

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter, Maler Elger, Dietmar 2008

Issue

01 January 2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

9783775722490

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 137

Exhibitions

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder at Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibitions were dedicated to Gerhard Richter’s abstract pictures

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Large Abstracts Wilmes, Ulrich / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Söntgen, Beate / Stemmrich, Gregor 2008

Issue

01 January 2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

3775722483

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 137

Exhibitions

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder at Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibitions were dedicated to Gerhard Richter’s abstract pictures

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter: Abstrakte Bilder Wilmes, Ulrich / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Söntgen, Beate / Stemmrich, Gregor 2008
Die deutschen Beiträge zur Biennale Venedig, 1895-2007 Zeller, Ursula 2007

Issue

01 January 2006

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback, 224 pages

ISBN

9783775717243

Language

German

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 59

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Portraits is the first publication that focuses solely on Richter’s portraits, many of which have now gained both recognition and veneration across the globe.

...
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Gerhard Richter. Portraits Gronert, Stefan / Butin, Hubertus 2006

Issue

01 January 2005

Publisher

Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf in association with D.A.P Distributed Art Publishers, New York, NY

Details

Hardback, 324 pages

ISBN

9783937572215

ISBN

393757221X

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 27

Exhibitions

This catalogue raisonné records Richter’s works in the years 1993-2004. In his work, Gerhard Richter calls into question painting's boundaries, and the labels applied to painting and theories connected with them.

...
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Gerhard Richter. Catalogue Raisonné 1993–2004 Zweite, Armin 2005

Issue

01 January 2005

Publisher

Wako Works of Art, Tokyo

Details

Hardback, 279 pages

ISBN

4473032558

Language

Japanese

Category

Monographs

Notes

Revised edition of 'Texte. Schriften und Interviews', first published in 1993.

Artwork Illustrated: p. 55 (b/w)
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Texte: Schriften und Interviews: Revised and Enlarged Edition Richter, Gerhard / Shimizu, Minoru 2005

Issue

01 January 2005

Publisher

Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf in association with D.A.P Distributed Art Publishers, New York, NY

Details

Hardback, 323 pages

ISBN

9783937572208

ISBN

978-3937572208

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 25, 26

Exhibitions

This catalogue raisonné records Richter’s works in the years 1999-2004. In his work, Gerhard Richter calls into question painting's boundaries, and the labels applied to painting and theories connected with them.

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Werkverzeichnis 1993-2004 Zweite, Armin 2005

Issue

01 January 2004

Publisher

Thames & Hudson, London

Details

Softcover, 304 pages

ISBN

9780500284711

Language

English

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 51
Illustrated: p. 51 (b/w)
More Details
New Art in the 60s and 70s: Redefining Reality Anne Rorimer 2004

Issue

01 January 2003

Publisher

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Details

Softcover, 336 pages

ISBN

0870703552

Language

English

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 60, 92
Illustrated: p. 31 (b/w)

Gerhard Richter is widely recognized as one of the most significant painters working today, and he is certainly among the most influential. He has worked in a wide range of media since the early 1960s,

...
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Gerhard Richter. Doubt and Belief in Painting Storr, Robert 2003

Issue

01 January 2002

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback, 340 pages

ISBN

9783775711692

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Discussed: pp. 40, 41
Illustrated: p. 146 (colour)

Exhibitions

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. 40 Years of Painting at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, this publication represents a broad range of Gerhard Richter's paintings of the last 40 years.

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Malerei Storr, Robert 2002

Issue

01 January 2002

Publisher

DuMont, Köln

Details

Hardback, 420 pages

ISBN

9783832158484

Language

German

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 200, 250, 277, 444

Gerhard Richter has been widely regarded as a publicity shy artist. However, the biography Gerhard Richter, Maler gives an insight into Richter’s personal history as well as into the development of his artistic œuvre.

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter, Maler Elger, Dietmar 2002

Issue

01 January 1999

Publisher

Gli Ori, Prato

Details

Softcover, 205 pages

ISBN

8887700079

Language

Italian English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 16, 30, 169, 171, 179, 181

Exhibitions

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Gerhard Richter Corà, Bruno / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Chevrier, Jean Francois / Moscati, Italo 1999

Issue

01 January 1998

Publisher

Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt a. M.

Details

Softcover, 172 pages

ISBN

345833937X

Language

German

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 53, 54
More Details
Gerhard Richter, 18. Oktober 1977. Eine Kunst-Monographie Hemken, Kai-Uwe 1998

Issue

01 January 1996

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback, 311 pages

ISBN

3893228608

Language

English German

Category

Group Exhibitions
Artwork Discussed: pp. 38, 48

Exhibitions

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Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer. Sammlung Frieder Burda = Collection Frieder Burda Poetter, Jochen / Brehm, Margrit / Möckel, Birgit 1996
Gerhard Richter. Bilder = Paintings 1962 - 1985 Harten, Jürgen / Hering, Karl-Heinz / Honisch, Dieter / Loock, Ulrich / Ronte, Dieter / Elger, Dietmar 1986

Issue

01 January 1979

Publisher

Städtische Kunsthalle, Recklinghausen

Details

Softcover, 232 pages

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
Artwork Discussed: pp. 217
Illustrated: p. 153 (b/w)

Exhibitions

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Europäische Gemeinsamkeit. Fundamente, Inspiration, Wechselwirkungen. Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen 1979 Schröder, Anneliese / Thiemann, Eugen / Skrobucha, Heinz / Hofstätter, Hans H. / Fischer-Foebus, Karl G. / Drebusch, Günter / Pieper, Paul 1979

Issue

01 January 1977

Publisher

Musée national d'art Moderne, Paris

Details

Softcover, 73 pages

ISBN

2858500290

Language

French

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 47, 48
Illustrated: p. 47 (b/w)

Exhibitions

More Details
Gerhard Richter Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. 1977

Issue

01 January 1972

Publisher

Museum Folkwang, Essen

Details

Hardback, 154 pages

Language

Italian German English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 10-11, 39
Illustrated: p. 65, 75 (b/w)

Exhibitions

More Details
Gerhard Richter. 36. Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione tedesco = 36. Biennale in Venedig, Deutscher Pavilion = 36. Biennale in Venice, German Pavilion Honisch, Dieter / Helms, Dietrich / Honnef, Klaus / Ohff, Heinz / Dienst, Rolf Gunther / Schön, Rolf / Polke, Sigmar 1972

Issue

01 January 1971

Publisher

Onnasch-Galerie, Berlin

Details

Softcover, 148 pages

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
Artwork

Exhibitions

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20 Deutsche Onnasch, Reinhard / Honnef, Klaus 1971

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