sharp series as usual – terrific minimalist works. m.

Richter took one of his own works, and halved a fragment of the image vertically on a computer. He mirrored the image and repeated the process again and again. After a while patterns emerge from the mirrored, incidental skids of paint. “Rows of faces appeared, monsters, flowers, mandalas,” he tells me. As the image gets halved and squeezed again and again, ever smaller repetitive patterns are produced, reminiscent of Islamic decoration, until at a certain point these horizontal bands take over. Were he to continue, he explains, the bands themselves would disappear into a kind of optical white noise, and eventual visual silence.

Richter chose sections from these bands and recombined them for these larger works. They come at you like complex visual chords. Richter had no idea what would happen when he began this process. He touches one of the panels with his knuckle. “The memory of all the images that came and went is still here.”

Looking around, Richter announces that there will be no more Strips and no more Flows. “That’s it, totally,” he says with finality. This whole complex arc of works began while he was heavily involved in the major retrospective that toured to Tate in 2011, and took him away from his studio for long periods. What’s next? “I want to make small paintings. Landscapes, abstracts, I don’t know.” When will you know? “When I start. The answer comes by working. My dream is to close the door and paint. It will happen. It will come.”

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