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Art Institute of Chicago

Mrs. Wolleh with Children (Frau Wolleh mit Kindern), 1968 by Gerhard Richter
Author(s): Jeremy Strick
Source: Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1, Modern and Contemporary Art:
The Lannan Collection at The Art Institute of Chicago (1999), pp. 34-35+102
Published by: Art Institute of Chicago
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Accessed: 07-10-2015 12:28 UTC

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and flowers. Mrs. and even more with the ghostly whiteness of her apparentlynakedchildren.Only the broadoutlines and most generalfeaturesof the sittersarelegible. standingin the midst of a vast atmosphericfield. a general. and his canvases accordingly featurea uniform tone and coloration. tends to flatten mother and children alike.but remainsenigmatic. Scuola di San Rocco). it is impossibleto ignorereferencesto a broaderand more ancient iconography.when Richtercompletedthe paintingbasedupon it. I. Richter used local color relatively rarely in his Photo Paintings of the I96os.privatecollection). Richter has rarelymade specific art-historicalreferences in his work.while a photographof Richter'sown daughter.Mrs. recalls the figure of the Virgin in Titian's Assumption (c.candles. on the other. Mrs. Nonetheless. servedas the basisfor one of his most famous laterworks. anachronistic motifs.Gerhard Richter (GERMAN. Wollehwith Children'scolor scheme is similarly unusual. 94] he leastsentimentalof painters. Betty ( effectthat distanceshis subjectsand renderselusiveeven the most vivid images. Richter carriedthis effect of blurringto an extreme. a personaldocumentof friendship and a portrait of specific individuals. or paintingsby LucasCranachof Venusand Cupid. The artist placed the figures within a somewhat modulated rust-yellow field that offers no clue as to the setting.' Formally.Moreover. and.Richteradapteda photographmadeby his friend the photographerLotharWollehof the latter'swife andchildren. strikinglyantinaturalistic. BORN 1932) Mrs. Wollehwith Children.and. Venice. Wolleh'schildrenclearly suggest cupids.200 x 160 cm(783/4x 63 in. 07 Oct 2015 12:28:47 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . While the direct source of this paintingwas a photographof specificallyidentified.he worked from black-and-white photographs.Saint Louis Art Museum). Wollehwith Childrenpervadesmuch of the artist'swork.107. children at either side. s. 1968 Oilon canvas.GerhardRichterhas fascinationwith romantic long evinceda paradoxical if X subjects.252.Mrs. black dress contrastsstrongly with this ground. although not the only colored painting Richterproducedduringthis period.which he took himself. Mrs. Wolleh with Children. Images of familiesand childrentoo havebeen subjectto the artist's scrutiny. Mrs.All of Richter'sPhoto Paintings(see p.aidingandfrustratingit by turns.while the facesof hertwo childrenareentirelyindistinct.skulls. Museum Ludwig). 1540.As systematicallyexploringa catalogue of exhausted. Hallen fiir neue Kunst. Richter has painted landscapes. For offersa telling account of the ways in which representationconditions and literallyclouds interpretation.Wolleh'sfaceis suggested.In Mrs.Anonymousfamilysnapshotsprovidedthepoint of departurefor severalof his earliestpaintings. Wolleh with Children. Typically. however.Wollehwith Childrenis one of the most distinctiveworks in Richter'soeuvre.162 on Wed. This paintingis.turningthem into a singleoutline or shape. 34 MuseumStudies This content downloaded from 143. the kind of vague allusion evident in Mrs.Wollehtook the photographin Richter'spresence. and the fivepanel series Annunciation:After Titian of 1973 (Schaffhausen.but they also remindus of Renaissanceimages of the infantJesus playing with SaintJohn. and art-historically informedimageof motherhood.seascapes.depersonalized.) [see p. Wolleh. Wolleh'slong. on the one hand. 24) areblurred. he gaveit to his friend(who eventuallysold it).contemporaryindividuals.The overallblurring of detail.two instancesareEma (Nude on a Staircase) of 1966 (Cologne. Wolleh with Children (Frau Wolleh mit Kindern).The expressionon Mrs.

MuseumStudies 35 This content downloaded from 143. 07 Oct 2015 12:28:47 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .162 on Wed.107.252.

1984. GerhardRichter. cat. Richter'sextensiveuse of photo-offset lithography. Sigmar Polke: Bilder. 1989.. 143-45. at the same time. p. Pp.1962-1971. ed. Mass. cat.Exh. 34-35 i.StadtischeGalerieim Lembachhaus.pp. 5). 1976. 1998). seemed to revel in LeWitt'sidea that "illogicaljudgmentslead to new experience"(sentence4 in LeWitt's"Sentenceson ConceptualArt.p.1972].Prints. 1960-65.Atlas der Fotos. 4. "Interviewwith JonasStorsve.JosefHaubrichKunsthalle. Richtermade his early Photo Paintingsby squaringup photographic images and reproducing them freehand.GerhardRichterAtlas. 1963. RUFF. cat. Realismus.autographic. trans. Amsterdam.KunsthalleBremen. i.TheNew Avant-Garde:Issuesfor theArt of the Seventies [New York. Exh. 2. 2. "Mandalaand Cross. Munich. p.Oct.Hubertus." In Los Angeles. Here. 3. Previously. Ema was the first paintingRichterproducedfrom a photographthat he had taken himself.Lucy R. pp. Kunst. Ad Reinhardt. Ibid. 1968.1991. cat. Moos. Grafik des KapitalistischenRealismus. Bois. SigmarPolke:Die drei Luigender Malerei. cat. by RichardFrancis. 07 Oct 2015 12:28:47 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .GerhardRichter:Grafik1965-1970. 77-79. Paoletti. Block.Objekte.Ed.1996. 1993).Exh.SigmarPolke.Richter. 1965. Exh. 3.SigmarPolke: Fotografien.Frankfurt. AD REINHARDT.3 vols. by David Britt. cat. 1970. Rend. Honisch.162 on Wed.Exh. BarbaraRose."Print Collector'sNewsletter19.. 268.and Photographsin the Collectionof theSaintLouisArtMuseum. Museum of ContemporaryArt.1995.Tiicher. Kunsthalle Tiibingen. "GerhardRichter:Ambiguity as an Agent of Awareness. Thomas Ruff. 11-33. cat.pp. 1-6. Reinhardt. 22-23 i. 104. Rotterdam."Notes on the BlackPaintings"(undated). Museum of ContemporaryArt.GERHARD 2.John T. 58-65. Shapiro. Ibid. Polke.St. quoted in Tiibingen. PP. 3. "Interviewwith Hans Ulrich Obrist. Krefeld.New York. interviewby BenjaminH.with essay by MichaelDanoff. 1991. Abstract Painting 1960-1965.SIGMAR Mouth (Mund). an undatedletterto Lisa Lyonsof LannanFoundation.and/or proofs were taken directlyby hand. Naomi.Louis. Reinhardt.Stidtliche KunsthalleBaden-Baden. cat.1993. Bremen.Exh. 24-25 Baden-Baden. 82-83 I.p. Art-as-Art:The Selected Writingsof Ad Reinhardt. Exh. Kunst.Museumof ContemporaryArt. pp.. 28-29 (Uri Geller empfangtfremde Wesenaus der Fabel). 1995.p. rais.1997. opposed to traditional.GerhardRichterPaintings. Richter confirmed that Mouth's subject is Bardot in an unpublished interviewwith Tim Petersonof LannanFoundation.p. 1993. 127. RICHTER. exh. 1997. p. pp.Ad. 1989.107. Sterren. "The Limit of Almost.pp.Paintings.1992. New York. 4. Collagenund Skizzen. 1990. pp. cat. and intro."art/text 62 (Aug. Chicago.Gerhard. Richterlet the machinedo the work for him.StedelijkMuseum.1988. 225-26. SigmarPolke Photoworks: WhenPicturesVanish.GerhardRichter1988/89. Wolleh with Children (Frau Wolleh mit Kindern). Munich.und Ausstellungshalleder BundesrepublikDeutschland.1981. London/Cambridge. 268-69. especiallythe work of LeWitt. pp. Los Angeles.Ed. D.Los Angeles (Feb. andcat.1992. 29.Exh. 1993. Shapiro.252. 2. 36-37 i. Mrs. Essen. Uri Geller Welcomes Unknown Beings from the Realm of Fables WomanDescending the Staircase (Frau die Treppeherabgehend). cat.pp. Exh. al. Lippard.Exh. Munich. 42-43. Flowers (Blumen).MuseumBoymans-vanBeuningen. Museumof ContemporaryArt. 2. Paoletti. 1990. cat. This account of the painting's origin was confirmed on behalf of GerhardRichterby his assistantLydiaWirtz. I. 1968." in Richter.Pp. Ibid. Berlin. GerhardRichter.p. cat.underscoreshis originality in this area.with essaysby ArminZweite." in Gr6goireMiiller.MuseumHaus LangeKrefeld.Ad Reinhardt." Art in America 79 (Nov. Richtersubtly mocked the solemn and rigorousattitudethat LeWitthas broughtto his use of the cube motif. by Roald Nasgaard. 46).MichaelEdward.1988). "SigmarPolke: ClairvoyantMemories.hand lithography.GerhardRichter.Los Angeles.GerhardRichter:TheDaily Practiceof Painting. 8. et al. 48. artists were expected to mark the matrixwith their own hand. Richterwas interestedin Conceptual Art. and Carl Vogel.1975. pp.GrafikdesKapitalistischen Chicago.. ed. Exh. and. et al. Accordingto Paoletti(ibid. by Helmut Friedeland Ulrich Wilmes. THOMAS Portretten.GerhardRichterEditionen1965-1993. pp.quoted in ibid.und Ausstellungshalleder BundesrepublikDeutschland. Vine. Ibid. cat. (1976).POLKE.ratherthanfound. Later. i99g). 50-51 I. 9 Objects (9 Objekte).he painted from photographsprojectedonto the canvas. i (Mar. Bonn. 102 MuseumStudies This content downloaded from 143. pp.Huizen. 3. NegotiatingRapture:ThePower of Art to TransformLives. Yve Alain.Dieter. p. Ad Reinhardt. by Hans Ulrich Obrist. I124-33. 3. Bonn.with which he felt some sympathy. 1993."in Richter. Richter. Exh. Buchloh.