By balancing his technique between abstract and figurative modes of painting, Gerhard Richter investigates and critiques issues of representation. He achieves this in Abstract Picture (873-5) by streaking the canvas with bands of red and blue and then blending the colors together by pulling a squeegee across the surface. The result is intermittently interrupted by places where layers of paint have been pulled away, revealing earlier paint strata. This work evokes the sensation of peering through a dense fog of blue, gray, and green. Only small areas of under-painting peek through, reinforcing a sense of density without providing clues as to what might have come before what we see on the surface.


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