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The Art of JAMA |

Ice (2)  Gerhard Richter

Thomas B. Cole, MD, MPH
JAMA. 2013;310(19):2018-2019. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5418.
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The German artist Gerhard Richter (1932-  ) begins an abstract painting with a simple composition of wedges and arcs in primary colors and lets it dry. When he returns to the canvas he repaints it in a neutral color, concealing the original image. Then he scrapes away the top layer, allowing bits and pieces of the under-painting to show through. Richter can be seen painting by this method in the film Gerhard Richter Painting (2011), directed by Corinna Belz (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1982113/?ref_=nv_sr_1). In the film he uses a two-handled squeegee to smear on or scrape away superficial layers, pulling it across the canvas in a smooth motion or in choppy jerks to crease the wet layers of paint. With a palette knife he hacks at the surface layer, exposing jagged blocks of color.

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Gerhard Richter (1932-  ) Ice (2), 1989, 203.2 × 162.6 cm. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago (http://www.artic.edu/), Chicago, Illinois; through prior gift of Joseph Winterbotham; gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.168. © Gerhard Richter.

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