© Gerhard Richter, 2013
Title: January
Date: 1989
Artist: Gerhard Richter
German, born 1932
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
installed: 126 in. x 13 ft. 1 1/2 in. (320 x 400 cm)
Credit Line: Funds given by Mr. and Mrs. James E. Schneithorst, Mrs. Henry L. Freund, and the Henry L. and Natalie Edison Freund Charitable Trust; and Alice P. Francis, by exchange
Object Number: 28:1990a,b
Place made: Cologne, Germany
Current Location: On View, Gallery 251
Notes:
This monumental diptych, along with its companion pieces (29:1990a,b and 30:1990a,b), evokes a somber and mysterious mood. When seen together they create an enveloping environment not unlike the experience of a nocturnal landscape glimpsed through the rain-spattered window of a moving car. Gerhard Richter created the sense of movement in these works by dragging large squeegee spatulas across the canvases, simultaneously applying new paint while scraping off previous layers. Although they are entirely abstract, the paintings have a blurred quality and predominantly black and white palette that paradoxically suggest photographic images.

The titles of the three diptychs provide some historical grounding and clues to their interpretation. In November of 1989, forty years of a divided Germany collapsed as the East German government succumbed to mass demonstrations and opened the Berlin Wall. Richter, who was born in East Germany and had fled to the west a few months before the wall was built in 1961, had a complex response to these events. While a celebratory mood prevailed in the streets and the media at the time, it appears as if Richter condensed the emotional and political uncertainty of these cataclysmic changes and the questions arising from them into these massive paintings in which past, present, and future are submerged in layers of paint.

Signed: on panel a, on verso, on canvas, l.r., in ink or paint: Richter / 1989 on panel b, on verso, on canvas, l.r., in ink or paint: R.
Provenance
- 1990
Gerhard Richter, Cologne, Germany [1]

1990 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased through Marian Goodman Gallery, from Gerhard Richter [2]


Notes:
[1] The Museum purchased the painting from the artist, through the Marian Goodman Gallery [bill of sale, May 22, 1990, SLAM document files].

[2] Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, April 25, 1990.

Exhibition History
Title: Gerhard Richter
Date: May 18, 2014 - January 10, 2015
Venue: Fondation Beyeler
Title: Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting
Date: February 13, 2002 - January 14, 2003
Venue: Museum of Modern Art, New York
Venue: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Venue: High Museum of Art
Venue: The Art Institute of Chicago
Venue: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Title: Postwar German Art in the Collection
Date: May 01, 2013 - January 26, 2014
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Gerhard Richter: 18. Oktober 1977
Date: July 10 - September 1, 1990
Venue: Museum Haus Esters
Venue: Lannan Foundation
Venue: Portikus
Venue: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Gerhard Richter 1988/89
Date: October 15 - December 3, 1989
Venue: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Title: German Art Now
Date: October 18, 2003 - November 11, 2004
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Gerhard Richter (1989)
Date: December 12 - 19, 1989
Venue: Portikus
Title: A travers le miroir de Bonnard à Buren
Date: October 20, 2000 - January 21, 2001
Venue: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
Title: German Art Deutsche Kunst aus amerikanischer Sicht: Werke aus der Sammlung des Saint Louis Art Museum
Date: September 14 - November 14, 2004
Venue: Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt
Title: Gerhard Richter (1993-1994)
Date: September 23, 1993 - August 22, 1994
Venue: Musée d'Art Moderne, St. Etienne
Venue: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Venue: Moderna Museet
Venue: Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Title: Abstraction in the Twentieth Century: Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline
Date: February 9 - May 12, 1996
Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Publication History
Title: Gerhard Richter
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Gerhard Richter 1988/89
Publisher: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Title: New York/Gerhard Richter
Periodical Title: Burlington Magazine
Author: Roger Bevan
Title: Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting
Publisher: The Art Institute of Chicago
Publisher: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Publisher: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Author: Robert Storr
Publisher: Museum of Modern Art, New York
Title: See for Yourself: Abstract and Expressionist Art
Periodical Title: A Gallery Guide for The Saint Louis Art Museum
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Painting Richter
Periodical Title: Artforum
Author: Rosalind E. Krauss
Author: David Reed
Author: Thomas Struth
Author: Katy Siegel
Author: Daniel Soutif
Author: Peter Halley
Title: Gerhard Richter: Paintings, Prints, and Photographs in the Collection of The Saint Louis Art Museum
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Author: Michael E. Shapiro
Title: German Art Deutsche Kunst aus amerikanischer Sicht: Werke aus der Sammlung des Saint Louis Art Museum
Author: Andrea Firmenich
Author: Cornelia Homburg
Author: Dr. Siegfried Gohr
Author: Richard Shiff
Author: Sean Rainbird
Author: Catharina Manchanda
Title: Gerhard Richter: Panorama
Year Published: 2011
Title: Themes in Contemporary Art
Editor: Gill Perry
Editor: Paul Wood
Title: German Art Now
Author: Cornelia Homburg
Author: Sean Rainbird
Author: Robin Clark
Author: Catharina Manchanda
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Your Museum Transformed
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Gerhard Richter : the Cage paintings
Author: Robert Storr
Title: Gerhard Richter
Publisher: Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Author: Benjamin H. D. Buchloh
Title: Mysteries of the Rectangle
Author: Siri Hustvedt
Title: Gerhard Richter: Pictures / Series
Editor: Hans Ulrich Obrist
Publisher: Fondation Beyeler
Title: Gerhard Richter: New Paintings
Periodical Title: The New York Times
Edition: February 9
Year Published: 1990
Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Gerhard Richter
Publisher: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Author: José Lebrero Stals
Title: Abstraction in the Twentieth Century: Total Risk, Freedom, Discipline
Publisher: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Author: Mark Rosenthal
Title: Death and the Painter
Periodical Title: Art in America
Author: Peter Schjeldahl
Title: Gerhard Richter
Publisher: Tate Britain
Author: Sean Rainbird
Author: Judith Severne
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