My fog lights aren’t working

 How does Richter utilize space and obscurity in this painting and how does that affect us?

Walking through the exhibition I came across one painting in particular, with it’s dusty colours and ethereal atmosphere I found myself staring and standing in front of it for no less than ten minutes. What I was staring at for so long is still uncertain. Maybe I was waiting for my eyes to focus and the mist to clear, maybe I was trying to uncover what Richter had hidden in such a beautiful way, either or, why did my mind find this ambiguity of his so moving? Before visiting the ‘Gerhard Richter: Panorama’ exhibition at the Tate Modern, I hadn’t come across this artist and his work before, however, after the exhibition I ended up purchasing postcards, posters and copies of his wonderful work. In love with the way the artist has constructed this painting, Richter managed to keep me in an almost enjoyable purgatory, anticipating the beauty of the iceberg to emerge, however, maybe the beauty is the descending haze itself? Where is the remainder of this painting? I want to find it. This essay will creatively and affectively analyse, describe and situate my chosen painting from three dissimilar points of view, first, a glaciologist, how will his expert knowledge of the movements and behavior of ice view this painting? Second, a polar bear, how will this threatened animal feel when observing what is essentially his home fading into the coldness? And thirdly a survivor from the Titanic, would this person feel haunted by it and what destructive memories would it bring back, if any? 

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Iceberg in Mist

Iceberg in Mist

Iceberg in mist by Gerhard Richter.

Before visiting the exhibition at the Tate Modern, I hadn’t come across this artist and his work before, however, after the exhibition I ended up purchasing postcards, posters and copies of his wonderful work.

Walking through I came across this painting in particular with it’s dusty colours and ethereal atmosphere, I found myself staring and standing in front of it for about ten minutes. What I was staring at for so long is still uncertain. Maybe I was waiting for my eyes to focus and the mist to clear?

I just love the way the artist has constructed this painting. Richter managed to keep me in an almost enjoyable purgatory, waiting for the beauty of the iceberg to emerge, however maybe the beauty is the descending haze itself?

The Luncheon

“Welcome, enter, come in, please” usher the sharply spoken lady and gentleman, almost as sharp as the line between his shirt and lapel.

Like entering a seated formal luncheon, the curator of the exhibition has arranged his guest pieces into structured linier rows. Tom Eckersley may be ‘Master of the Poster’ but I’m not yet convinced about the seating plan.

Eckersley’s work was especially appetising during the 1930’s; he was amongst the most popular of Graphic artists during this period, producing his graphic work for many names including the RAF and most significantly London Transport where this relationship lasted for more than 50 years.  For me Eckersley’s work is consistent throughout his career and I am reminded of the classic 1950’s Swiss style. He seems to use a technique that is almost sanitary and fresh in appearance, sadly I did find the brilliant white walls swallowed his work in one humongous mouth full, however once overlooked, his powerful use of colour and geometrics soon came up for air.

With unambiguous modernist influences his focus is more on shape and colour than having any kind of perspective and depth. Almost Lego like in appearance, it seemed a child within him was positively determined to find what block fitted on top of another, and sure enough, he found it with wonderful ease.

If I’m being honest the exhibition failed to grab my attention, I understand he was possibly going for the ‘let-the-art-speak-for-itself’ method of display, but in this case the bright white overshadowed his pieces. I would have suggested bringing the work away from the walls, away from the brilliantness, even suspended in the center of the room would have let the work create it’s own shadow. However, once engaged I very much enjoyed his witty, colourful and direct method of communication.

Bon Apatite.

” Because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars”