Spiegel, Grau  [Mirror Painting (Grey)]
© Gerhard Richter

Reference URL

Spiegel, Grau [Mirror Painting (Grey)] 1991
  • Artist Rooms
Richter began to use glass in his work in 1967, when he made ‘4 Panes of Glass’. In that work, each pane was framed and fixed to a stand, so that one could look through them individually. It had a strong cerebral content, in keeping with the contemporary Conceptual Art movement, but it also had a certain dead-pan humour. What are paintings, after all, it seemed to say, but windows on the world? ’11 Panes of Glass’, made almost forty years later, is much less conceptual. By stacking them up, one after another, Richter is able to play with glass’s ability, both to be looked through, and to reflect. Because there are multiple panes, the transparency is incrementally affected by the reflectivity of the glass. The blurring effect is similar to that found in Richter’s photo-paintings.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.

Conceptual art

Art in which the idea takes precedence over its manifestation in visual form. It emerged in the 1960s and was often concerned with the nature of art and the use of language.

Dada

A radical artistic and literary movement that was a reaction against the cultural climate that supported the First World War. The Dadaists took an anti-establishment attitude, questioning art's status and favouring performance and collage over traditional art techniques. Many Dadaists went on to become involved with Surrealism.

Figurative art

A general term for art that refers to the real, visible world, used more specifically for the representation of the human figure.

Monochrome

An image made with a single colour.

Abstract art, Conceptual art, Dada, Figurative art, Monochrome

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00022
  • Medium Pigment on glass
  • Size 280.00 x 164.80 x 4.50 cm
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008