Tuesday, March 18, 2014

my "after Gerhard Richter" demo

A couple weekends ago, I went to my local Blick Art Store and got to do a few really fun demos, learning about artists like Alexander Calder, known creator of the mobile, and Wassily Kandinsky, credited with the first purely abstract paintings.

All incredible artists, but demo-wise, I had the most fun imitating Gehrard Richter (who is actually still alive!), a German artist whose known technique uses layers upon layers of paint squeegeed across a large surface. One of his paintings received the record price for a living artist at an art auction in 2012. I got to do mine on a much smaller, reasonably-sized canvas, using the store's demo tempera paints in red, yellow, blue and green:

Closer shots of  parts in detail.
As I squeegeed across, it was a lot of fun seeing what stayed underneath and what appeared above in the paint. Most other demos were done on paper, which also came out with some beautiful effects. There wasn't the luxury of spending hours to create a series of layers, but it was really interesting seeing how the initial paint slopped on to the canvas left a remnant pattern even when wiped across.

Best part about this demo was that it was fast, looked fantastic and practically fail-proof. Even the paint that got squeegeed off ended up looking kind of amazing.

Also, I went to Europe last summer in 2013, and one of my favorite cities was Cologne in Germany. They have a staggering cathedral called the Dom, and I didn't realize that it was Richter who was connected to one of the stained glass windows in the historic structure! The thing is huge and consists of hundreds of squares of colored glass randomly assorted together:

So if you'd like to try your hand at some modern abstract art and also give your home an interesting new piece to hang up, I kid you not, this may be the way to go.

Works by the actual master:


Huge squeegee contraption in use.

Cute man! Now if you happen to sit by him on a plane, you'll know what he looks like.

The other artists were plenty cool too, so I think I'll do follow-up posts sharing their work and my demos from them as well.

So, what do you think? Any hope of a future for me in modern art? ;)

Leave a comment below with your own modern/abstract art experiences, if you'd like to see the other demos or what you think of my little foray piece!

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