Gerhard Richter

11 Panes

2004

Original title
11 Scheiben (886-5)
Medium
Glass and wood
Dimensions
Object, each: 2780 x 2120 x 8 mm, 118 kg
overall: 2900 x 2120 x 540 mm, 1298 kg
Acquisition
ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Reference
AR00026

Online caption

Richer 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. As one moves closer and away from the work, the distortions vary and one sees oneself reflected several times over. The blurring effect is similar to that found in Richter’s photo-paintings.