Understanding Painting through Photography

Matthew Bax

Acrylic, Street Marker Spraypaint, Photographic Paper Matthew Bax, 2017

Acrylic, Street Marker Spraypaint, Photographic Paper
Matthew Bax, 2017

 

 

 “I’m not trying to imitate a photograph, I’m trying to make one.”[1]

Gerhard Richter

The medium debate has raged amongst the art world ever since Paul Delaroche proclaimed the death of painting some 150 years ago. The argument became particularly spiteful during the rise of the conceptual art movement of the 1960s, with painting and photography pitted against each other like never before. We are still awaiting Delaroche’s Armageddon and as Douglas Crimp eloquently puts it, for painting ‘life on death row lingered to longevity’[2]. This paper will briefly reflect on the history of the medium debate and the relationship between photography and painting in the contemporary arena today. We start with a consideration of eminent critic, Clement Greenberg and his declarations on media, in particular, his defence of medium specificity. Greenberg advocated for kind of media seclusion, believing that the survival of media hinged on its dedication to its pedigree. To gauge an understanding of the success of Greenberg’s utopian plans in the eras that preceded, we need to look to Rosalind Krauss and her ‘post-medium condition’. Finally, this paper will consider two contemporary theorists, Rosemary Hawker and Christian Lotz who have explored the relationship between photography and painting, through an examination of the artist Gerhard Richter. Richter is a purist painter who owes his fame to photography, creating photographs in paint. In Richter, their analyses reveal more of symbiotic kinship between the mediums and less of a combative relationship, as predicted by earlier critics. This paper will substantially focus on the textual analysis of Hawker’s ‘Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography’, and Lotz’s ‘Distant Presence. Representation, Painting and Photography in Gerhard Richter’s Reader’. This investigation will highlight the philosophical themes that drive their understanding of Richter’s work and provide insight into the complex relationship between photography and painting.

 

Being the great orator of the abstract expressionist movement the medium discussion in some ways begins with Clement Greenberg. As conceptual art, and with it, photography, began to invade the hallowed grounds of the previously uncontested territory of painting he naturally is central to the debate. With painting reaching its philosophical crescendo during the late 1950s, many believed that the medium was booking a testimonial performance. Greenberg in defence of painting championed the preponderance of medium purity; “Each art had to determine, through its own operations and works, the effects exclusive to itself.”[3] In his ‘Modernist Painting’ he outlined his anti-social vision for Art’s future. He sought ‘to eliminate from the specific effects of each art any and every effect that might conceivably be borrowed from or by the medium of any other art.[4] Greenberg pleaded for a media-cleansing to restore the trajectory of contemporary art, with artists locked inside, with their studio curtains drawn tight, in fear of any foreign contagions.

 

In the decades that followed, Greenberg’s strategy was not surprisingly, strongly contested. It all seemed very grim for his purity concepts and painting in general, with the former heroes of painting like Ad Reinhardt, apparently running out of track and collectively going colour-blind[5]. The 1970s and 1980s were periods of heated discussions over medium. Douglas Crimp captures the mood of this era in his ‘The End of Painting’. His paper explains that only were counter attacks launched in print, but even grand exhibitions were staged, such as Barbara Rose’s ‘American Painting: The Eighties’[6]. The exhibition was a retaliation to the Museum of Modern Art conceptual weighted show of 1974, ‘Eight Contemporary Artists’[7]. Rose’s plight was to correct the great injustice to painting by the brash new art movement she dismissed as a ‘topical significance’[8]. With her exhibition, she attempted to reinstate her beloved the ‘transcendental, high art’[9] of painting back to what she believed to be its rightful throne.

 

This understanding of the relationship between of photography and painting later shifted with Rosalind Krauss and her notion of the ‘post-medium condition’. The influential critic was originally a disciple of Greenberg, but as the developments in art became increasingly out of step with his vision, her stance began to drift from his hard-line policies. Rather than flatly refute Greenberg’s proclamations, as many others had done, Krauss proposed a softer reframing of his concept of medium. In her influential text ‘A Voyage on the North Sea: Art in the Age of the Post-Medium Condition’, Krauss argued in favour of his medium specificity, but under new, re-evaluated circumstances. Her hermeneutic approach to media was one “constituted beyond its material form”[10] and defined by reference beyond itself. It is a more communal position to the unforgiving, Puritan discipline of Greenberg’s arguments. In considering Krauss’ position, Jan Verwoert draws our attention to the fact that Krauss’ text builds upon the earlier arguments of Joseph Kosuth and that Kosuth promoted a kind of art over medium approach. Krauss believed the parameters of medium had been so entirely twisted by conceptual art, that a new epoch should be anointed. Verwoert describes this phenomenon as “an entirely new, historically irreversible conditions for the production of art”[11]. Krauss declared this new age, the post-medium condition. Krauss’s influential work appears to have captured the zeitgeist of art today. Evidence of this can be enjoyed, in the monumental photographs of Jeff Wall, with their historical painting temperament or even the abstract images of Australia’s young photographer, Justine Varga. As Hawker and Lotz will later demonstrate, the interplay of photography and painting is especially experienced in the work of Gerhard Richter.

 

With a career spanning nearly six decades, Gerhard Richter is widely considered one of the greatest artists of our time. One of the most interesting and unique aspects of Richter’s oeuvre is his immense variety of stylistic process and theme. The artist abhors pigeonholing, but visually his practice could be naively described as stretching from figurative realism, abstraction and even minimalism. His devotion to the code of painting is made even more intriguing by the close relationship he has maintained with photography throughout his career. He has directly engaged photographic material, both from private and public sources, in a large body of his work, particularly his ‘photo-paintings’. These paintings involve the selection of a photo, which is then projected and traced by hand, onto canvas. The artist then attempts to recreate the image, as best the oil medium and his skill permits. The investigative process identified in these photo-paintings provide one of the most philosophically enlightening insights into the complex relationship between photography and painting.

 

We will now analyse how Rosalind Hawker considers Richter’s employment of medium and how that investigation contributes to our understanding of photography and painting. Hawker’s position could be viewed as a break from Greenberg and more of a conduit to Krauss. She champions the merits of medium ambiguity and believes in the exchange relationship between photography and painting to clarify and bring context to one another. The foundations of her theories are grounded in the works of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Hawker concentrates her analysis around Foucault’s celebration of mixed media and Derrida’s ideas on the idiom. In contrast to Greenberg’s gated community of reductive artists, Hawker reminds us of the promiscuous media interbreeding in contemporary art today and the “dispersal of photography across the arts”[12]. Singling out artists like Jeff Wall and Andreas Gursky and of course, Richter who “pursue a kind of image or image condition that cannot be understood within the bounds of any one medium”[13]. She explores Foucault’s prioritising of the image in art and his dismissal of medium or means of the communicative method. Hawker consults Foucault’s piece ‘Photogenic Painting[14] where he discusses the liberation of the image by pop art movement and the hyperrealists. She cites Foucault’s analysis of the work of Gérard Fromanger, in which he experiences a revival of visual enjoyment; a platform where the image could be once again consumed guilt free. It is a channelling of the spirit of early photography; a “time of liberated image-making when artists, photographers and amateurs alike made use of all means at their disposal to make images”[15]. A period where there appeared to be no bias, no drawing of divisions, a period of utopian creativity. Hawker in quoting, Foucault; “These years..witnessed a new frenzy of images which circulated rapidly between camera and easel”[16]. Foucault not only celebrates the emancipation of the image but proceeds to explain the function of photography in painting. He identifies a dialogue between the mediums, a mobilisation of ideas and influence. Hawker declares this quintessence of Foucault’s theory the ‘disguised difference’[17] of the medium.  It is an intersection of ideas, facilitated through the outright rejection of Greenberg. Hawker reminds us that only via exchange with the external, can these androgynous elements be uncovered. “It is idiom that enables the differences between media that are crucial to their signification and upon which the medium exchange that is necessary to art is based”[18]. This dissemination eludes to an osmotic, between-state of medium, a realm that Richter has substantial explored and now permanently inhabits.

 

Abetted by Derrida, Hawker mines deeper into the theme of the idiom and how it contributes to our understanding of the relationship between photography and painting. Through Derrida’s ‘Truth in Painting’[19], she informs that “we only know things through translation, and by implication; that there is nothing that we can know in some original, unmediated form”.[20] Derrida’s paper owes its title to Cézanne’s famous quote; “I owe you the truth in painting and I will tell it to you” and Hawker seeks to expose the idiom or truth in Richter’s ‘photo-paintings’ to provide insight into how the medium behaves and interrelates with photography. She explains that in Derrida’s view the idiomatic element of a medium, cannot be effectively translated, and the process of this flawed citation gives birth to the ‘idiomatic excess’[21]. She calls as evidence of the idiomatic excess the painted ‘blur’ featured in many of Richter’s ‘photo-painting’ works. Richter often paints the illusion of a photographic blunder, actively distorting the image out-of-focus, in order to show the impossibility of conveying the truth in its original condition. The ‘blur’ form resides exclusively within the photographic kingdom and cannot be adequately deciphered by painting. The failure of the painting to translate this element is the incommunicable code that educates us about the idiomatic Geist of photography, and by cross-reference, the practice of painting.

 

Perhaps an explanation from Richter will help bring into focus the importance of idiom in medium. Richter described his painting process as akin to a kind of automatic, humanoid image making machine; “If I disregard the assumption that a photograph is a piece of paper exposed to light, then I am practising photography by other means”[22]. Like a traditional roll of film, the artist is exposing himself to the light and image before him. As the negative submits to the will of the lens, the artist here is commanded by the will of the photograph before him. Richter’s paintings correlate much of the semiotics of the original photos, but they inevitably fall short of something we would consider a worthy facsimile.  It is this very failure that I believe he is trying to explore in his mantra of painting. Hawker views these elements as it as ‘something outside of painting’[23]. At this moment, we can experience the idiomatic character of painting; Cézanne’s truth. The hermeneutic dialogue becomes the truth in the medium. We read something in the floored reflection of a medium that the medium alone cannot communicate. Richter’s dogma appears to be driven by a desire to understand this awkward conversation between photography and painting. Hawker also briefly enlists other master painters to stress the power of ambiguity in medium and subject matter. She recalls Joseph Mallord William Turner’s great rebuttal to a client complaint regarding his use of enigmatic fog and haze; “Obscurity is my forte”.[24] For Hawker, Turner’s fog, like Richter’s blur, is the shapeshifting presence of idiom in medium.

 

In somewhat of a counter position to Hawker’s understanding of the photography and painting dynamic is the work of Christian Lotz. While there may be perceived links to Greenberg’s theories in Lotz’s writings, his central medium argument is to illustrate the performative role a viewer brings to an artwork and the notion of distance that photography can offer painting. Lotz’s work is indebted to several philosophers, including Theodor Adorno, Hans-Georg Gadamer and interestingly also Derrida. Lotz argues for a reading of art, in this case, Richter, that looks beyond semiotics of image, to an internalising of the gaze and an embrace of the unique physicality of medium. To demonstrate Lotz’s rationale of the affinity between the two media in question, we will scrutinise his text ‘Distant Presence. Representation, Painting and Photography in Gerhard Richter’s Reader’. As the title alludes, the article targets the medium debate around just one individual work, the ‘Lesende / Richter’[25]. This specimen, like Hawker’s sampling of Richter, is also a work from the artist’s photo-painting series. The ‘Reader’ is an oil painting that captures a distance, voyeuristic viewing of the artist’s former wife, lost in the act of reading. She is completely absorbed in the content of her magazine and totally unaware of our surveillance. The setting is clearly beyond a portrait; it is a precious, stolen glance of a private moment in time. It is a perfect example of the image[26] selection process that drives the visual content of this particular faculty Richter’s practice.

 

Drawing upon the influence of Gadamer, Lotz investigates the interactions between medium and the audience and the contributing role that dialogue plays in an artwork. He attests that what we think about an artwork, is a part of the work itself. He demonstrates how medium, not the image alone, has a significant effect on these encounters. This mechanism alludes to the viewer’s contribution to the art experience. Lotz highlights the role media’s idiosyncratic traits play in this exchange, and it is on these terms he correlates the of the interplay between the photography and painting. It is significant to our investigation as it informs us about Lotz’s understanding of the rapport and differences between the photography and painting. He advocates the preponderance of the viewer’s unity with the physical composition of an artwork, and he attests that it is this component with which the audience is engaged in conversation.

 

Lotz attempts to explain this engagement with medium by offering the example of symphony event. He asks us to consider the contrasting experience of a concert witnessed firsthand, as opposed to someone merely explaining a past performance. Lotz stresses that the temporal synthesis of an cultural encounter, must be absorbed to fully comprehend the occasion. He considers the inspection of a painting in the same light; it is a sensual unity between the physical medium and the observer. It hints at a higher, spiritual composition of media. Citing Adorno he explains, “although art is imitation, it is not imitation of an object, rather, through its gesture and its whole attitude, it is the attempt to reconstitute a situation, in which differences between subject and object did not exist”[27]. It is a transaction with the artwork that is beyond a mere semiotic binary exchange. Returning to his symphony example; an artwork’s emotional attributes and meaning cannot be explained adequately over the telephone, it requires direct contact to fully comprehend the work. The audience must absorb the materiality, becoming one with the artwork. Lotz explains that paintings are not simply a rendition of an image but our metal interaction with the medium itself. Painting due to its physical composition is always going to invoke a different emotional response than the flatness of a photograph. Lotz adopts a more Greenbergian, narcissistic approach to the relationship between media, negating the need for a medium to interact with another to define itself. The identity of a medium is determined by itself, the representation being a self-reflection and “not the relationship between two externally related entities”[28]. It is an argument that sits in contrast to Hawker’s reading of Richter and the behaviour of the painting in the company of photography.

 

We have established that Lotz identifies a distinction in the habitude of photography and painting and that these unique attributes that impact our experience with artworks. He also appears to negate the importance that Hawker placed upon this idea of medium to medium exchange in order understanding a form of media. However, given his subject choice in Richter, he clearly acknowledges a connection between photography and painting. To gain a clearer understanding of Lotz’s position on photography and painting, we will briefly consider the arguments of another critic, Martin Hammer. Hammer explored the medium relationship in his ‘Francis Bacon: Painting after Photography’. Hammer points out that David Sylvester declared “no serious painter has owed so much to the photograph as Bacon”[29]. In Hammer’s text we learn of Bacon’s sensuality when deciphering the modus operando of the two mediums; “the texture of a photograph seems to go through an illustrational process onto the nervous system, whereas the texture of painting seems to come immediately onto the nervous system”.[30] These comments are remarkably similar to the theories Lotz identified in Adorno, in that photography and painting inculcate with a unique signal frequency and demeanour. Richter and Bacon share a common bond in their employment of photography. In a way that shadows Richter’s code, Sylvester believes that Bacon “has tried to find a painterly equivalent for its actual physical attributes and manner of presenting the image”[31]. Bacon explains “the difference from direct recording through the camera is that as an artist you have to, in a sense, set a trap by which you hope to trap this living fact alive”[32]. This quote could quite easily have come from the mouth of Richter, it is akin to his practice of making photography ‘other means’. It informs of the automation that photography allows, that painting, being result of its human process, can only seek to mimic. Photography offers a distance, a neutrality that is impossible for painting in isolation, without borrowing from the photographic craft. It is this sentiment of distance that is the other central theme of Lotz and Hammer’s conjecture. It is here, that Greenberg’s ideas become unstable and out of sorts with Lotz. If we recall Lotz’s example, Richter’s ‘Reader’, this painting would not be achievable without the engagement of photography. It is the scopophiliac setting, the oblivious absorption of Richter’s wife that defines this image. This random snapshot has captured a secret that a composed portrait sitting would never reveal. Lotz describes a “tension between the involvement and distance of the spectator”[33]. Richter’s ‘Reader’ positions the viewer in an unfamiliar and privileged vantage, it authorises access that would not be possible through if we adhered to Greenberg’s code of seclusion. This consanguinity between the two mediums is the essential kernel of Lotz’s argument. A photograph provides the painter with a distance, an emotional retreat that is only possible through the automation and neutrality of the camera.

 

Richter reveals selfish privileges that photography has bestowed on his practise; “what counts is that the pictures…become universal. They are there to show themselves and not me.”[34]. The use of the photograph sounds like a liberation for a painter, contemplating a new epoch after the condemnation of his craft. Richter valued the medium of photography so highly explaining; “It freed me from personal experience. For the first time, there was nothing to it: it was pure picture. That's why I wanted to have it, to show it – not use it as a means to painting but use painting as a means to photography”[35]. Photography is philanthropic for both the painter and also the audience. The photograph encourages and frees the artist to embrace the kind of boundless, creative exemption that Hawker referenced in the early days of the camera. But it also allows the viewer a recherché perspective for contemplation. It is on these terms that Lotz distinguishes the major dissimilarity between the two mediums but also the greatest contribution to the practice of painting.

 

In conclusion, with Rosemary Hawker and Christian Lotz’s analysis of Richter we can better understand the medium homogenisation of contemporary art today. We can also appreciate that the interrelationship between photography and painting is far more complicated than the modernist theorists could ever have prophesied. Despite the decades of corruption according to Greenberg’s media law, medium idiosyncrasy remains a tectonic discussion today. The contemporary relevance of the medium specific debate can be evidenced by two major current exhibitions in Australia; ACCA’s ‘Painting, More Painting’[36] and ‘New Matter’ at the Art Gallery of New South Wales[37], dedicated to the materiality of photography and the pursuit of the non-pictorial. Hawker reminded us of the early simpatico of the photography and painting and demonstrated the function of idiom in the medium. She revealed that painting’s inability to translate; the non-telling in fact substantially informs. Christian Lotz contributes to the discussion in other ways, in contrast to Hawker he upholds the unique physicality of each medium that Greenberg held so dear. Lotz explains that a painting can never be interpreted in the same manner as a photograph. He emphasises that our response to the gestural components in paint give rise to something very different to the flatness found in photography. Through his analysis, we learn that the two mediums are not operating in solitude and we begin to understand the privileged ingress photography allows Richter’s painting. The content of Richter’s pictures, much like that of Bacon, has been forever changed by photography. Through the external exchange, painting achieves something impossible without the camera. Painting could never be the same again after photography, and in contrast to doomsday preppers of the 1960s, I would argue that painting today would never want to go back to their future.

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

American Painting: The Eighties, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York City, September – October, 1979.

 

Crimp, Douglas. “The End of Painting.” October, 16 (1981): 69-86.

 

Derrida, Jacques. The Truth in Painting. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

 

Eight Contemporary Artists, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 9 October, 1974 - 5 January, 1975.

 

Foucault, Michel, and Gilles Deleuze. Photogenic Painting: Gérard Fromanger. London: Black Dog, 1999.

 

Friedel, Helmut, and Ulrich Wilmes, Gerhard Richter: Atlas of the Photographs Collages and Sketches. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 1997.

 

Greenberg, Clement. “Modernist painting.” Voice of America, (1959) n.p.

                                                                

Hammer, Martin “Francis Bacon: Painting after Photography.” Art History, 35, no. 2 (2012): 354-371.

 

Hawker, Rosemary. “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography.” Oxford Art Journal 32, no. 2 (2009): 263-280.

 

Hawker, Rosemary. “The idiom in photography as the truth in painting.” The South Atlantic Quarterly, 101, no. 3 (2002): 541-554.

 

Kellein, Thomas. “Ad Reinhardt: Painting as Ultimatum.” Brooklyn Rail, (4 September 2016) http://www.brooklynrail.org/special/AD_REINHARDT/ad-around-the-world/ad-reinhardt-painting-as-ultimatum.

 

Koechling, Carolyn. “Appropriation and Demarcation”. In Malerei in Fotografie: Strategien der Aneignung, edited by Martin Engler, 15-22, Heidelberg: Kehrer and Staedel Museum, 2012.

                                                      

Krauss, Rosalind. A Voyage on the North Sea. Art in the Age of the Post-Medium Condition. London: Thames & Hudson, 2000.

 

Lotz, Christian. “The Art of Gerhard Richter: Hermeneutics, Images, Meaning." ProtoView, 2016. Academic OneFile, EBSCOhost (accessed September 2, 2016).

 

Lotz, Christian. "Distant Presence. Representation, Painting and Photography in Gerhard Richter’s Reader." In Symposium: Canadian Journal for Continental Philosophy, vol. 1, (2012), 87-111.

 

Osborne, Peter. “Painting Negation: Gerhard Richter's Negatives.” October 62 (1992): 103 -113.

 

New Matter. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, September, 2016 – February 2017.

 

Painting. More Painting. The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Australia Centre Contemporary Art, Melbourne, July – September, 2016.

 

Richter, Gerhard. Lesende / Reader, 1994, 72 cm x 102 cm, Oil on canvas, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/paintings/photo-paintings/women-27/reader-8054, (accessed 1 September, 2016).

 

Richter, Gerhard, and Hans Ulrich Obrist. The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings and Interviews, 1962-1993. London: Thames and Hudson and Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 1995.

 

Rose, Barbara. American Painting: The Eighties. Buffalo: Thorney-Sidney Press, 1979.

 

Sylvester, David. Interviews with Francis Bacon. London: Thames and Hudson, 1975.

 

Verwoert, Jan, and Hugh Rorrison. “Why are conceptual artists painting again? Because they think it's a good idea.” Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry 12 (2005): 7-16.

 

[1] Gerhard Richter and Hans Ulrich Obrist, “Interview with Rolf Schoen, 1972,” in The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings and Interviews, 1962-1993 (London: Thames and Hudson and Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 1995), 73.

[2] Douglas Crimp, "The End of Painting," October 16 (1981): 69-86.

[3] Clement Greenberg, “Modernist Painting,” Voice of America, (1959), n.p. http://www.sharecom.ca/greenberg/modernism.html.

[4] Greenberg, “Modernist Painting,” n.p.

[5] One recalls Ad Reinhardt’s ‘ultimate’ or ‘black’ period of the 1960s where he produced entirely black painted canvases and the declared: “My paintings are the last paintings one can make” cited in Thomas Kellein, “Ad Reinhardt: Painting as Ultimatum,” Brooklyn Rail, (4 September 2016) http://www.brooklynrail.org/special/AD_REINHARDT/ad-around-the-world/ad-reinhardt-painting-as-ultimatum.

[6] American Painting: The Eighties, curated by Barbara Rose, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York City, September – October, 1979.

[7] Eight Contemporary Artists, curated by Jennifer Light, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 9 October, 1974 - 5 January, 1975.

[8] Barbara Rose, American Painting: The Eighties, Thorney-Sidney press, (Buffalo: Thorney-Sidney Press), 1979, n.p.

[9] Rose, American Painting: The Eighties, n.p

[10] Rosemary Hawker, “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography,” Oxford Art Journal 32, no. 2 (2009): 277

[11] Jan Verwoert and Hugh Rorrison. “Why are conceptual artists painting again? Because they think it's a good idea,” Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry, 12, Autumn /Winter, (2005): 8.

[12] Hawker, “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography,” 268.

[13] Hawker, “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography,” 271.

[14] Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, Photogenic Painting Gérard Fromanger, (London: Black Dog 1999), 91.

[15] Hawker, “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography,” 278.

[16] Hawker, “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography,” 279.

[17] Hawker, “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography,” 283.

[18] Hawker, “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography,” 263.

[19] Jacques Derrida, “The Truth in Painting,” trans. Geoff Bennington and Ian McLeod (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1987),  61 .

[20] Hawker, “Idiom post-medium: Richter painting photography,” 285.

[21] Rosemary Hawker, "The Idiom in Photography as the Truth in Painting,” South Atlantic Quarterly, Volume 101, Number 3, Summer, (2002): 543.

[22] Richter and Obrist, “Interview with Rolf Schoen, 1972,” 73.

[23] Hawker, “The Idiom in Photography as the Truth in Painting,” 543.

[24] Hawker, “The Idiom in Photography as the Truth in Painting,” 550.

[25] Gerhard Richter, Lesende / Reader, 1994, 72 cm x 102 cm, oil on canvas, https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/paintings/photo-paintings/women-27/reader-8054.

[26] For in depth insight into the Richter’s photographic source material, should consult the book ‘Atlas’.

The publication is encyclopaedic manifesto that features over 5000 of his photographs in chronological order.

Helmut Friedel and Ulrich Wilmes, eds. Gerhard Richter: Atlas of the photographs collages and sketches. (New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 1997).

[27] Christian Lotz, “Distant Presence. Representation, Painting and Photography in Gerhard Richter’s Reader,” In Symposium: Canadian Journal for Continental Philosophy, vol. 1, (2012): 95.

[28] Lotz, “Distant Presence. Representation, Painting and Photography in Gerhard Richter’s Reader,” 92.

[29] Hammer, “Francis Bacon: Painting after Photography,” 355.

[30] Martin Hammer, “Francis Bacon: Painting after Photography,” Art History 35, no. 2 (2012): 356.

[31] Hammer, “Francis Bacon: Painting after Photography,” 355

[32] Hammer, “Francis Bacon: Painting after Photography,” 355

[33] Lotz, “Distant Presence. Representation, Painting and Photography in Gerhard Richter’s Reader,” 105

[34] Lotz, “Distant Presence. Representation, Painting and Photography in Gerhard Richter’s Reader,” 103

[35] Richter and Obrist, “Interview with Rolf Schoen, 1972,” 59.

[36] Painting. More Painting, The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Australia Centre Contemporary Art, Melbourne, July – September, 2016

[37] New Matter, Art Gallery of New South Wales, September, 2016 – February 2017