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Abstraktes Bild (Nº 635) (1987) – Gerhard Richter (1932)
Image by pedrosimoes7
Belem, Berardo Collection, Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon, Portugal
Materials : Oil on canvas
FROM WIKIPEDIA, THE FREE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Gerhard Richter (German: [ˈʀɪçtɐ]; born 9 February 1932) is a German visual artist and one of the pioneers of the New European Painting that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century. Richter has produced abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and glass pieces. His art follows the examples of Picasso and Jean Arp in undermining the concept of the artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.
In October 2012, Richter’s Abstraktes Bild set an auction record price for a painting by a living artist at million (£21 million).This was exceeded in May 2013 when his 1968 piece Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral square, Milan) was sold for .1 million (£24.4 million) in New York.
This was further exceeded in February 2015 when his painting Abstraktes Bild sold for .52 million (£30.4 million) in London at Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale.
CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION
Richter was born in Hospital Dresden-Neustadt in Dresden, Saxony, and grew up in Reichenau, Lower Silesia (now Bogatynia, Poland), and in Waltersdorf (Zittauer Gebirge), in the Upper Lusatian countryside, where his father worked as a village teacher.
Gerhard’s mother, Hildegard Schönfelder, at the age of 25 gave birth to Gerhard. Hildegard’s father, Ernst Alfred Schönfelder, at one time was considered a gifted pianist. Ernst moved the family to Dresden after taking up the family enterprise of brewing and eventually went bankrupt. Once in Dresden, Hildegard trained as a bookseller, and in doing so realized a passion for literature and music. Gerhard’s father, Horst Richter, was a mathematics and physics student at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden. The two were married in 1931.
After struggling to maintain a position in the new Nationalist Socialist education system, Horst found a position in Reichenau. In Reichenau, Gerhard’s younger sister, Gisela was born in November 1936.
Horst and Hildegard were able to remain primarily apolitical due to Reichenau’s location in the countryside.
Horst, being a teacher, was eventually forced to join the National Socialist Party. He never became an avid supporter of Nazism, and was not required to attend party rallies. In 1942, Gerhard was conscripted into the Deutsches Jungvolk, but by the end of the war he was still too young to be an official member of the Hitler Youth.
In 1943 Hildegard moved the family to Waltersdorf, and was later forced to sell her piano. He left school after 10th grade and apprenticed as an advertising and stage-set painter, before studying at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. In 1948, he finished higher professional school in Zittau, and, between 1949 and 1951, successively worked as an apprentice with a sign painter and as a painter.
In 1950, his application for study at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts was rejected as "too bourgeois". He finally began his studies at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts in 1951. His teachers were Karl von Appen, Heinz Lohmar (de) and Will Grohmann.
In 1983, Richter resettled from Düsseldorf to Cologne, where he still lives and works today. In 1996, he moved into a studio designed by architect Thiess Marwede.
Richter married Marianne Eufinger in 1957; she gave birth to his first daughter.
He married his second wife, the sculptor Isa Genzken, in 1982. Richter had a son and daughter with his third wife, Sabine Moritz after they were married in 1995.
In the early days of his career, he prepared a wall painting (Communion with Picasso, 1955) for the refectory of his Academy of Arts as part of his B.A. Another mural entitled Lebensfreude (Joy of life) followed at the German Hygiene Museum for his diploma. It was intended to produce an effect "similar to that of wallpaper or tapestry".
Both paintings were painted over for ideological reasons after Richter escaped from East to West Germany two months before the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. After German reunification two "windows" of the wall painting Joy of life (1956) were uncovered in the stairway of the German Hygiene Museum, but these were later covered over when it was decided to restore the Museum to its original 1930 state.
From 1957 to 1961 Richter worked as a master trainee in the academy and took commissions for the then state of East Germany. During this time, he worked intensively on murals like Arbeiterkampf (Workers’ struggle), on oil paintings (e.g. portraits of the East German actress Angelica Domröse and of Richter’s first wife Ema), on various self-portraits and on a panorama of Dresden with the neutral name Stadtbild (Townscape, 1956).
When he escaped to West Germany, Richter began to study at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Karl Otto Götz. With Sigmar Polke and Konrad Fischer (de) (pseudonym Lueg) he introduced the term Kapitalistischer Realismus (Capitalistic Realism) as an anti-style of art, appropriating the pictorial shorthand of advertising. This title also referred to the realist style of art known as Socialist Realism, then the official art doctrine of the Soviet Union, but it also commented upon the consumer-driven art doctrine of western capitalism.
Richter taught at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as a visiting professor; he returned to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1971, where he was a professor for over 15 years.
Nearly all of Richter’s work demonstrates both illusionistic space that seems natural and the physical activity and material of painting—as mutual interferences. For Richter, reality is the combination of new attempts to understand—to represent; in his case, to paint—the world surrounding us. Richter’s opinions and perspectives on his own art, and that of the larger art market and various artistic movements, are compiled in a chronological record of "Writings" and interviews. The following quotes are excerpts from the compilation:
"I am a Surrealist."
"My sole concern is the object. Otherwise I would not take so much trouble over my choice of subjects; otherwise I would not paint at all."
"My concern is never art, but always what art can be used for."
Photo-paintings and the "blur"
Richter’s 1988 painting Betty (depicting his daughter) at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin in 2012
Richter created various painting pictures from black-and-white photographs during the 1960s and early 1970s, basing them on a variety of sources: newspapers and books, sometimes incorporating their captions, (as in Helga Matura (1966)); private snapshots; aerial views of towns and mountains, (Cityscape Madrid (1968) and Alps (1968)); seascapes (1969–70); and a large multi-partite work made for the German Pavilion in the 1972 Venice Biennale. For Forty-eight Portraits (1971–2), he chose mainly the faces of composers such as Gustav Mahler and Jean Sibelius, and of writers such as H. G. Wells and Franz Kafka.
From his "Writings", the following refer to quotations regarding photography, its relationship with painting, and the "blur":
"The photograph is the most perfect picture. It does not change; it is absolute, and therefore autonomous, unconditional, devoid of style. Both in its ways of informing, and in what it informs of, it is my source."
"I don’t create blurs. Blurring is not the most important thing; nor is it an identity tag for my pictures. When I dissolve demarcations and create transition, this is not in order to destroy the representation, or to make it more artistic or less precise. The flowing transitions, the smooth equalizing surface, clarify the content and make the representation credible (an "alla prima" impasto would be too reminiscent of painting, and would destroy the illusion)."
"I blur things to make everything equally important and equally unimportant. I blur things so that they do not look artistic or craftsmanlike but technological, smooth and perfect. I blur things to make all the parts a closer fit. Perhaps I also blur out the excess of unimportant information."
Many of these paintings are made in a multi-step process of representations. He starts with a photograph, which he has found or taken himself, and projects it onto his canvas, where he traces it for exact form. Taking his color palette from the photograph, he paints to replicate the look of the original picture. His hallmark "blur" is achieved sometimes with a light touch of a soft brush, sometimes a hard smear by an aggressive pull with a squeegee.
From around 1964, Richter made a number of portraits of dealers, collectors, artists and others connected with his immediate professional circle. Richter’s two portraits of Betty, his daughter, were made in 1977 and 1988 respectively; the three portraits titled IG were made in 1993 and depict the artist’s second wife, Isa Genzken. Lesende (1994) portrays Sabine Moritz, whom Richter married in 1995, shown absorbed in the pages of a magazine. Many of his realist paintings reflect on the history of National Socialism, creating paintings of family members who had been members, as well as victims of, the Nazi party. From 1966, as well as those given to him by others, Richter began using photographs he had taken as the basis for portraits. In 1975, on the occasion of a show in Düsseldorf, Gilbert & George commissioned Richter to make a portrait of them.
Richter began making prints in 1965. He was most active before 1974, only completing sporadic projects since that time. In the period 1965–74, Richter made most of his prints (more than 100), of the same or similar subjects in his paintings. He has explored a variety of photographic printmaking processes – screenprint, photolithography, and collotype – in search of inexpensive mediums that would lend a "non-art" appearance to his work. He stopped working in print media in 1974, and began painting from photographs he took himself.
While elements of landscape painting appeared initially in Richter’s work early on in his career in 1963, the artist began his independent series of landscapes in 1968 after his first vacation, an excursion that landed him besotted with the terrain of Corsica. Landscapes have since emerged as an independent work group in his oeuvre. According to Dietmar Elger, Richter’s landscapes are understood within the context of traditional of German Romantic Painting. They are compared to the work of Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). Friedrich is foundational to German landscape painting. Each artist spent formative years of their lives in Dresden. Große Teyde-Landschaft (1971) takes its imagery from similar holiday snapshots of the volcanic regions of Tenerife.
Atlas was first exhibited in 1972 at the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst in Utrecht under the title Atlas der Fotos und Skizzen, it included 315 parts. The work has continued to expand, and was exhibited later in full form at the Lenbachhaus in Munich in 1989, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 1990, and at Dia Art Foundation in New York in 1995. Atlas continues as an ongoing, encyclopedic work composed of approximately 4,000 photographs, reproductions or cut-out details of photographs and illustrations, grouped together on approximately 600 separate panels.
In 1972 Richter embarked on a ten-day trip to Greenland, his friend Hanne Darboven was meant to accompany him, but instead he traveled alone. His intention was to experience and record the desolate arctic landscape. In 1976, four large paintings, each titled Seascape emerged from the Greenland photographs.
Two of Richter’s 1983 memento mori paintings – Kerze and Schädel – on display at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin in 2012
In 1982 and 1983, Richter made a series of paintings of Candles and Skulls that relate to a longstanding tradition of still life memento mori painting. Each composition is most commonly based on a photograph taken by Richter in his own studio. Influenced by old master vanitas painters such as Georges de La Tour and Francisco de Zurbarán, the artist began to experiment with arrangements of candles and skulls placed in varying degrees of natural light, sitting atop otherwise barren tables. The Candle paintings coincided with his first large-scale abstract paintings, and represent the complete antithesis to those vast, colorful and playfully meaningless works. Richter has made only 27 of these still lifes. In 1995, the artist marked the 50th anniversary of the allied bombings of his hometown Dresden during the Second World War. His solitary candle was reproduced on a monumental scale and placed overlooking the River Elbe as a symbol of rejuvenation.
In a 1988 series of 15 ambiguous photo paintings entitled 18 October 1977, he depicted four members of the Red Army Faction (RAF), a German left-wing terrorist organization. These paintings were created from black-and-white newspaper and police photos. Three RAF members were found dead in their prison cells on 18 October 1977 and the cause of their deaths was the focus of widespread controversy. In the late 1980s, Richter had begun to collect images of the group which he used as the basis for the 15 paintings exhibited for the first time in Krefeld in 1989. The paintings were based on an official portrait of Ulrike Meinhof during her years as a radical journalist; on photographs of the arrest of Holger Meins; on police shots of Gudrun Ensslin in prison; on Andreas Baader’s bookshelves and the record player to conceal his gun; on the dead figures of Meinhof, Ensslin, and Baader; and on the funeral of Ensslin, Baader, and Jan-Carl Raspe.
Since 1989, Richter has worked on creating new images by dragging wet paint over photographs. The photographs, not all taken by Richter himself, are mostly snapshots of daily life: family vacations, pictures of friends, mountains, buildings and streetscapes.
Richter was flying to New York on September 11, 2001, but due to the 9/11 attacks, including on the World Trade Center, his plane was diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia. A few years later, he made one small painting specifically about the planes crashing into the World Trade Center. In September: A History Painting by Gerhard Richter, Robert Storr situates Richter’s 2005 painting September within a brand of anti-ideological thought that he finds throughout Richter’s work, he considers how the ubiquitous photographic documentation of the 11 September attacks affects the uniqueness of one’s distinct remembrance of the events, and he offers a valuable comparison to Richter’s 18 October 1977 cycle.
In the 2000s, Richter made a number of works that dealt with scientific phenomena. In 2003, he produced several paintings with the same title: Silicate. Large oil-on-canvas pieces, these show latticed rows of light- and dark-grey blobs whose shapes quasi-repeat as they race across the frame, their angle modulating from painting to painting. They depict a photo, published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, of a computer-generated simulacrum of reflections from the silicon dioxide found in insects’ shells.
Coming full-circle from his early Table (1962) in which he cancelled his photorealist image with haptic swirls of grey paint,[ in 1969, Richter produced the first of a group of grey monochromes that consist exclusively of the textures resulting from different methods of paint application.
In 1976, Richter first gave the title Abstract Painting to one of his works. By presenting a painting without even a few words to name and explain it, he felt he was "letting a thing come, rather than creating it." In his abstract pictures, Richter builds up cumulative layers of non-representational painting, beginning with brushing big swaths of primary color onto canvas. The paintings evolve in stages, based on his responses to the picture’s progress: the incidental details and patterns that emerge. Throughout his process, Richter uses the same techniques he uses in his representational paintings, blurring and scraping to veil and expose prior layers.
From the mid-1980s, Richter began to use a homemade squeegee to rub and scrape the paint that he had applied in large bands across his canvases.
In an interview with Benjamin H.D. Buchloch in 1986, Richter was asked about his "Monochrome Grey Pictures and Abstract Pictures" and their connection with the artists Yves Klein and Ellsworth Kelly. The following are Richter’s answers:
The Grey Pictures were done at a time when there were monochrome paintings everywhere. I painted them nonetheless. … Not Kelly, but Bob Ryman, Brice Marden, Alan Charlton, Yves Klein and many others.
In the 1990s the artist began to run his squeegee up and down the canvas in an ordered fashion to produce vertical columns that take on the look of a wall of planks.
Richter’s abstract work and its illusion of space developed out of his incidental process: an accumulation of spontaneous, reactive gestures of adding, moving, and subtracting paint. Despite unnatural palettes, spaceless sheets of color, and obvious trails of the artist’s tools, the abstract pictures often act like windows through which we see the landscape outside. As in his representational paintings, there is an equalization of illusion and paint. In those paintings, he reduces worldly images to mere incidents of Art. Similarly, in his abstract pictures, Richter exalts spontaneous, intuitive mark-making to a level of spatial logic and believability.
Firenze continues a cycle of 99 works conceived in the autumn of 1999 and executed in the same year and thereafter. The series of overpainted photographs, or übermalte Photographien, consists of small paintings bearing images of the city of Florence, created by the artist as a tribute to the music of Steve Reich and the work of Contempoartensemble, a Florence-based group of musicians.
After 2000, Richter made a number of works that dealt with scientific phenomena, in particular, with aspects of reality that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
In 2006, Richter conceived six paintings as a coherent group under the title Cage, named after the American avant-garde composer John Cage.In May 2002, Richter photographed 216 details of his abstract painting no. 648-2, from 1987. Working on a long table over a period of several weeks, Richter combined these 10 x 15 cm details with 165 texts on the Iraq war, published in the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on 20 and 21 March. This work was published in 2004 as a book entitled War Cut.
In November 2008, Richter began a series in which he applied ink droplets to wet paper, using alcohol and lacquer to extend and retard the ink’s natural tendency to bloom and creep. The resulting November sheets are regarded as a significant departure from his previous watercolours in that the pervasive soaking of ink into wet paper produced double-sided works. Sometimes the uppermost sheets bled into others, generating a sequentially developing series of images. In a few cases Richter applied lacquer to one side of the sheet, or drew pencil lines across the patches of colour.
COLOR CHART PAINTINGS
As early as 1966, Richter had made paintings based on colour charts, using the rectangles of colour as found objects in an apparently limitless variety of hue; these culminated in 1973–4 in a series of large-format pictures such as 256 Colours.
Richter painted three series of Color Chart paintings between 1966 and 1974, each series growing more ambitious in their attempt to create through their purely arbitrary arrangement of colors.
The artist began his investigations into the complex permutations of color charts in 1966, with a small painting entitled 10 Colors. The charts provided anonymous and impersonal source material, a way for Richter to disassociate color from any traditional, descriptive, symbolic or expressive end. When he began to make these paintings, Richter had his friend Blinky Palermo randomly call out colors, which Richter then adopted for his work. Chance thus plays its role in the creation of his first series.
Returning to color charts in the 1970s, Richter changed his focus from the readymade to the conceptual system, developing mathematical procedures for mixing colours and chance operations for their placement. The range of the colors he employed was determined by a mathematical system for mixing the primary colors in graduated amounts. Each color was then randomly ordered to create the resultant composition and form of the painting. Richter’s second series of Color Charts was begun in 1971 and consisted of only five paintings. In the final series of Color Charts which preoccupied Richter throughout 1973 and 1974, additional elements to this permutational system of color production were added in the form of mixes of a light grey, a dark gray and later, a green.
Richter’s 4900 Colours from 2007 consisted of bright monochrome squares that have been randomly arranged in a grid pattern to create stunning fields of kaleidoscopic color. It was produced at the same time he developed his design for the south transept window of Cologne Cathedral. 4900 Colours consists of 196 panels in 25 colors that can be reassembled in 11 variations – from a single expansive surface to multiple small-format fields. Richter developed Version II – 49 paintings, each of which measures 97 by 97 centimeters – especially for the Serpentine Gallery.
Richter began to use glass in his work in 1967, when he made Four Panes of Glass. These plain sheets of glass could tilt away from the poles on whicht they were mounted at an angle that changed from one installation to the next. In 1970, he and Blinky Palermo jointly submitted designs for the sports facilities for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. For the front of the arena, they proposed an array of glass windows in twenty-seven different colors; each color would appear fifty times, with the distribution determined randomly. In 1981, for a two-person show with Georg Baselitz in Düsseldorf, Richter produced the first of the monumental transparent mirrors that appear intermittently thereafter in his oeuvre; the mirrors are significantly larger than Richter’s paintings and feature adjustable steel mounts. For pieces such as Mirror Painting (Grey, 735-2) (1991), the mirrors were coloured grey by the pigment attached to the back of the glass. Arranged in two rooms, Richter presented an ensemble of paintings and colored mirrors in a special pavilion designed in collaboration with architect Paul Robbrecht at Documenta 9 in Kassel in 1992.
In 2002, for the Dia Art Foundation, Richter created a glass sculpture in which seven parallel panes of glass refract light and the world beyond, offering altered visions of the exhibition space; Spiegel I (Mirror I) and Spiegel II (Mirror II), a two-part mirror piece from 1989 that measures 7′ tall and 18′ feet long, which alters the boundaries of the environment and again changes one’s visual experience of the gallery; and Kugel (Sphere), 1992, a stainless steel sphere that acts as a mirror, reflecting the space. Since 2002, the artist has created a series of three dimensional glass constructions, such as 6 Standing Glass Panels (2002/2011).
In 2010, the Drawing Center showed Lines which do not exist, a survey of Richter’s drawings from 1966 to 2005, including works made using mechanical intervention such as attaching a pencil to an electric hand drill. It was the first career overview of Richter in the United States since 40 Years of Painting at the Museum of Modern Art in 2002.
In a review of Lines which do not exist, R. H. Lossin writes in The Brooklyn Rail: "Viewed as a personal (and possibly professional) deficiency, Richter’s drawing practice consisted of diligently documenting something that didn’t work—namely a hand that couldn’t draw properly. …Richter displaces the concept of the artist’s hand with hard evidence of his own, wobbly, failed, and very material appendage."
Throughout his career, Richter has mostly declined lucrative licensing deals and private commissions.Measuring 9 by 9 ½ feet and depicting both the Milan Duomo and the square’s 19th-century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Domplatz, Mailand [Cathedral Square, Milan] (1968) was a commission from Siemens, and it hung in that company’s offices in Milan from 1968 to 1998. (In 1998, Sotheby’s sold it in London, where it fetched what was then a record price for Richter, .6 million).
In 1980, Richter and Isa Genzken were commissioned to design the König-Heinrich-Platz underground station in Duisburg; it was only completed in 1992. In 1986, Richter received a commission for two large-scale paintings – Victoria I and Victoria II – from the Victoria insurance company in Düsseldorf. In 1990, along with Sol LeWitt and Oswald Mathias Ungers, he created works for the Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechselbank in Düsseldorf. In 1998, he installed a wall piece based on the colours of Germany’s flag in the rebuilt Reichstag in Berlin.
In 2002, the same year as his MoMA retrospective, Richter was asked to design a stained glass window in the Cologne Cathedral In August 2007, his window was unveiled. It is an 113 square metres (1,220 sq ft) abstract collage of 11,500 pixel-like squares in 72 colors, randomly arranged by computer (with some symmetry), reminiscent of his 1974 painting "4096 colours". Although the artist waived any fee, the costs of materials and mounting the window came to around €370,000 (6,000). However the costs were covered by donations from more than 1,000 people.
Cardinal Joachim Meisner did not attend the window’s unveiling; he had preferred a figurative representation of 20th century Christian martyrs and said that Richter’s window would fit better in a mosque or other prayer house.
A professed atheist with "a strong leaning towards Catholicism", Richter’s three children with his third wife were baptized in the Cologne Cathedral.
Richter first began exhibiting in Düsseldorf in 1963. Richter had his first gallery solo show in 1964 at Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf. Soon after, he had exhibitions in Munich and Berlin and by the early 1970s exhibited frequently throughout Europe and the United States. In 1966, Bruno Bischofberger was the first to show Richter’s works outside Germany. Richter’s first retrospective took place at the Kunsthalle Bremen in 1976 and covered works from 1962 to 1974. A traveling retrospective at Düsseldorf’s Kunsthalle in 1986 was followed in 1991 by a retrospective at the Tate Gallery, London. In 1993 he received a major touring retrospective "Gerhard Richter: Malerei 1962–1993" curated by Kasper König, with a three volume catalogue edited by Benjamin Buchloch. This exhibition containing 130 works carried out over the course of thirty years, was to entirely reinvent Richter’s career.
Richter became known to a U.S. audience in 1990, when the Saint Louis Art Museum circulated Baader-Meinhof (October 18, 1977), a show that that was later seen at the Lannan Foundation in Marina del Rey, California.
Richter’s first North American retrospective was in 1998 at the Art Gallery of Ontario and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. In 2002, a 40-year retrospective of Richter’s work was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. He has participated in several international art shows, including the Venice Biennale (1972, 1980, 1984, 1997 and 2007), as well as Documenta V (1972), VII (1982), VIII (1987), IX (1992), and X (1997). In 2006, an exhibition at the Getty Center connected the landscapes of Richter to the Romantic pictures of Caspar David Friedrich, showing that both artists "used abstraction, expansiveness, and emptiness to express transcendent emotion through painting."
The Gerhard Richter Archive was established in cooperation with the artist in 2005 as an institute of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS (SELECTION)
Gerhard Richter 4900 Colours: Version II at the Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom. 2008
Gerhard Richter Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, London, United Kingdom. 2009
Gerhard Richter: Panorama at the Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom. 2011
Gerhard Richter at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France. 2012
Gerhard Richter: Panorama at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany. 2012
Although Richter gained popularity and critical praise throughout his career, his fame burgeoned during his 2005 retrospective exhibition, which declared his place among the most important artists of the 20th century.
Today, many call Gerhard Richter the best living painter. In part, this comes from his ability to explore the medium at a time when many were heralding its death. Richter has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the State Prize of the state North Rhine-Westphalia in 2000; the Wexner Prize, 1998; the Praemium Imperiale, Japan, 1997; the Golden Lion of the 47th Biennale, Venice, 1997; the Wolf Prize in Israel in 1994/5; the Kaiserring Prize der Stadt Goslar, Mönchehaus-Museum für Moderne Kunst, Goslar, Germany, 1988; the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Vienna, 1985; the Arnold Bode Prize, Kassel, 1981; and the Junger Western Art Prize, Germany, 1961. He was made an honorary citizen of Cologne in April 2007.
Among the students who studied with Richter at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 1971 and 1994 were Ludger Gerdes, Hans-Jörg Holubitschka, Bernard Lokai, Thomas Schütte, Thomas Struth, Katrin Kneffel, Michael van Ofen, and Richter’s second wife, Isa Genzken. He is known to have influenced Ellsworth Kelly, Christopher Wool, Allan Banford and Johan Andersson (artist).
He also served as source of inspiration for writers and musicians. Sonic Youth used a painting of his for the cover art for their album Daydream Nation in 1988. He was a fan of the band and did not charge for the use of his image.
The original, over 7 metres (23 ft) square, is now showcased in Sonic Youth’s studio in NYC.
Don DeLillo’s short story "Baader-Meinhof" describes an encounter between two strangers at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The meeting takes place in the room displaying 18 October 1977 (1988).
Photographer Cotton Coulson described Richter as "one of [his] favourite artists".
POSITION ON THE ART MARKET
Following an exhibition with Blinky Palermo at Galerie Heiner Friedrich in 1971, Richter’s formal arrangement with the dealer came to an end in 1972. Thereafter Friedrich was only entitled to sell the paintings that he had already obtained contractually from Richter.
In the following years, Richter showed with Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, and Sperone Westwater, New York. Today Richter is represented by Marian Goodman, his primary dealer since 1985.
Today, museums own roughly 38% of Richter’s works, including half of his large abstract paintings.By 2004, Richter’s annual turnover was 0m (£65m). At the same time, his works often appear at auction. According to artnet, an online firm that tracks the art market, .9m worth of Richter’s work was sold at auction in 2010.
Richter’s high turnover volume reflects his prolificacy as well as his popularity. As of 2012, no fewer than 545 distinct Richter’s works had sold at auctions for more than 0,000. 15 of them had sold for more than ,000,000 between 2007 and 2012.
Richter’s paintings have been flowing steadily out of Germany since the mid-1990s even as certain important German collectors – Frieder Burda, Josef Fröhlich, Georg Böckmann, and Ulrich Ströher – have held on to theirs.
Richter’s candle paintings were the first to command high auction prices. Three months after his MoMA exhibition opened in 2001, Sotheby’s sold his Three Candles (1982) for .3 million. In February 2008, the artist’s eldest daughter, Betty, sold her Kerze (1983) for £7,972,500 ( million), triple the high estimate, at Sotheby’s in London.
His 1982 Kerze (Candle) sold for £10.5 million (.5 million) at Christie’s London in October 2011.
In February 2008, Christie’s London set a first record for Richter’s "capitalist realism" pictures from the 1960s by selling the painting Zwei Liebespaare (1966) for £7,300,500 (.3 million) to Stephan Schmidheiny. In 2010, the Weserburg modern art museum in Bremen, Germany, decided to sell Richter’s 1966 painting Matrosen (Sailors) in a November auction held by Sotheby’s, where John D. Arnold bought it for million. Vierwaldstätter See, the largest of a distinct series of four views of Lake Lucerne painted by Richter in 1969, sold for £15.8 million ( million) at Christie’s London in 2015.
Another coveted group of works is the ABSTRAKTE BILDER SERIES, particularly those made after 1988, which are finished with a large squeegee rather than a brush or roller. At Pierre Bergé & Associés in July 2009, Richter’s 1979 oil painting Abstraktes Bild exceeded its estimate, selling for €95,000 (6,000). Richter’s Abstraktes Bild, of 1990 was made the top price of 7.2 million pounds, or about .6 million, at a Sotheby’s sale in February 2011 to a bidder who was said by dealers to be an agent for the New York dealer Larry Gagosian. In November 2011, Sotheby’s sold a group of colorful abstract canvases by Richter, including Abstraktes Bild 849-3, which made a record price for the artist at auction when Lily Safra paid .8 million only to donate it to the Israel Museum afterwards. Months later, a record .8 million was paid at Christie’s for the 1993 painting Abstraktes Bild 798-3.
Abstraktes Bild (809-4), one of the artist’s abstract canvases from 1994, was sold by Eric Clapton at Sotheby’s to a telephone bidder for .2 million in late 2012. (It had been estimated to bring .1 million to .8 million.)
When asked about amounts like that Richter said "IT’S JUST AS ABSURD AS THE BANKING CRISIS. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND AND IT’S DAFT!"
Gerhard Richter’s Betty, 4:58 on YouTube, Smarthistory
In 2007, Corinna Belz made a short film called Gerhard Richter’s Window where the media-shy artist appeared on camera for the first time in 15 years. In 2011, Corinna Belz’s feature-length documentary entitled Gerhard Richter Painting was released. The film focused almost entirely on the world’s highest paid living artist producing his large-scale abstract squeegee works in his studio.
"One has to believe in what one is doing, one has to commit oneself inwardly, in order to do painting. Once obsessed, one ultimately carries it to the point of believing that one might change human beings through painting. But if one lacks this passionate commitment, there is nothing left to do. Then it is best to leave it alone. For basically painting is idiocy."
"Perhaps because I’m sorry for the photograph, because it has such a miserable existence even though it is such a perfect picture, I would like to make it valid, make it visible – just make it (even if what I make is worse than the photograph). And this making is something that I can’t grasp, or figure out and plan. That is why I keep on and on painting from photographs, because I can’t make it out, because the only thing to do with photographs is paint from them. Because it attracts me to be so much at the mercy of a thing, to be so far from mastering it."
"No one painting is meant to be more beautiful than, or even different from any other. Nor is it meant to be like any other, but the same: the same, though each was painted individually and by itself, not all together and all of a piece, like Multiples. I intended them to look the same but not be the same, and I intended this to be visible."
"Painting has nothing to do with thinking, because in painting thinking is painting. Thinking is language – record-keeping – and has to take place before and after. Einstein did not think when he was calculating: he calculated – producing the next equation in reaction to the one that went before – just as in painting one form is a response to another, and so on."
"It makes no sense to expect or claim to ‘make the invisible visible’, or the unknown known, or the unthinkable thinkable. We can draw conclusions about the invisible; we can postulate its existence with relative certainty. But we all can represent is an analogy, which stands for the invisible but is not it."
"The best thing that could have happened to art was its divorce from government."
"Everything made since Duchamp has been a readymade, even when hand-painted."
At a Q&A ahead of his retrospective at the Tate Modern on 4 October 2011, he was asked: "Has the role of artist changed over the years?" Richter replied: "It’s more entertainment now. We entertain people."
Prana (2010) – João Leonardo (1974)
Image by pedrosimoes7
Centro de Arte Manuel de Brito, CAMB, Palácios dos Anjos, Algés, Portugal
Material: Permanent ink and nicotine extract liquid from tobacco leaves.
Collection: Manuel de Brito
An Interview with João Leonardo by Jürgen Bock
Published in the exhibition catalogue One Hundred And Six Columns, Four Heads
And One Table, Villa Concordia, Bamberg, March 2011
Jürgen Bock: João, I know that you are a heavy smoker and that you have also experiences with other drugs. How do you negotiate your ‘self’ in your art in relationship to these experiences?
João Leonardo: Some of my work addresses the theme of addiction, but the issue is not personalized in the sense of revealing myself. Instead, I try to universalize the work, pointing to an existential idea rather than a personal story. Of course, the subject interests me because I have a history of alcoholism running in my family, but I think everybody has his own addictions in one way or another.
Right here on my desk, I have two catalogues that I often read, one is Roth Time, on Dieter Roth, and the other is The Problem Perspective on Martin Kippenberger. It is not a coincidence that both these artists were very heavy drinkers and very much self-centred. I love their work as much as I am interested in understanding how they addressed their own addiction problems in their work. And how much their work and their lives were highly mixed up.
How would you describe your drive for the obsessive, compulsive sampling of one of the lowest categories of garbage, cigarette butts?
The drive to collect comes naturally, it is engrained in me. I have collected all sorts of things from a very early age. So when I look at my own cigarette butts in the ashtray I feel the need to preserve them. And when I look at the cigarette butts in the street, trashed away in the garbage and on pavements, I feel a desire to also collect and preserve them, or use them for an artwork. What attracts me in these small little objects is their humbleness, their extremely lowly qualities as you might say. I also like their simplicity a lot, their dirtiness, and their own story. Each and every single cigarette-butt collected was smoked by someone and each and every one has traces of the DNA of that person. A cigarette is a highly sophisticated machine created to deliver a dose of nicotine to the one who smokes it. So I like their metaphorical potential. I like the fact that even if the cigarette-butt is all twisted and dirty and smelly, it was once clean and straight, it touched someone’s lips, it was inside their body, it was sucked. So there is this almost sexual intimacy one has with the cigarette, for the duration of a few minutes. And then the object that gives you pleasure ends, we throw it away. But I see here a parallel with other ideas, from the abstract concept of consumption to a romantic idea of a love relationship that ends. A love affair that only lasted a few minutes.
Could you talk about your methodology of working in the arts, your practice of doing/producing art in general and, remembering the intense discussions on artists’ practices we had when you studied at Maumaus, could you speak about your references from the art world and beyond?
I guess my method of working is very instinctive, by this I mean that I often follow my intuition, I allow chance and the irrational to come into play with the concepts and materials I work with. Still, there is another side of me that is very rigorous and logical and the work is created following very strict rules. I try to balance both sides. But when looking at my production you can divide the work into two categories: video works and object-based works. The videos were made with very simple means, a camera, some light source and myself in the studio. Before recording I make a small script drawing with the actions that I will perform. I record and then I edit and in the process, I try not to over-think too much about what it is. I know when it is good, when it comes from the heart or when it reaches a level of emotion and complexity that I am happy with. The object-based works are basically collections that are assembled as sculptures, collages or installations. The objects I choose to collect are things that relate to my daily life, on the one hand, and things that are related to the body, like lost baby’s dummies, plastic bottle caps, gloves and now cigarette butts. With these works the art process is time-based and part of the challenge is to actually spend months or years trying to find these objects. I feel that in the end, the work has a much deeper resonance than if I just went to the supermarket and bought them. So in both categories of works I say that the method of working is a compromise between research and play, between historical references and intuition, or emotion and reason. As you know I have also studied art history and I have made works that specifically relate to some artists. My video Clean is a direct reference to Bruce Nauman. My video One Letter from Sol LeWitt, as the title says, is based on a letter that Sol LeWitt wrote to Eva Hesse. The works Autointerview and Another Autointerview are based on a text by Lucas Samaras. I have made these works because I truly admire these artists and I wish I could start a dialogue with them or give them something back somehow. I create works for them. And I find the energy to do so out of admiration and respect for them.
But in the end, it is not just art and art history that is used as the reference. I love music and that is important. I love nature and documentaries about science, you know, quantum physics, supermassive black holes, the history of time, the origins of the universe and so on. I am curious about many things.
Looking at your work the notion of skills come into my mind. Your art is always very well conceived in all kinds of techniques. Looking especially at the work for this exhibition you execute your sculptural work in an impeccable way and the accumulation of cigarette packs reminds me strongly of the works of the German artist Peter Roehr, who died very young in the 1960s. The ‘top’ of the cigarette pack in your work can be read as such ‘tops’ but also turns into an image organized in serial sequences arranged in square frames, reminiscent of Roehr’s technique of organized repetition of the same motif kept very strictly within a larger form that is highlighted through it. It is somehow curious that Roehr also came from design – or what was the equivalent of it at the time. He was trained as an illuminated advertising and signage designer.
Its great you mentioned Roehr as he is not a mainstream artist and I remember exactly the day I first read about him. It was some years ago I was browsing the net and read something about an artist who had done a video-documentary about the Latino community of Smiths fans in Los Angeles. The name of this very interesting artist is William E. Jones, and I was looking at his work on his webpage. And there was this video piece that it is also a homage, or a tribute to another artist, called Film Montages (for Peter Roehr). And this caught my attention. On the page, there was a compilation of essays about Peter Roehr and after googling him I felt instantly connected with and touched by his work. These incidental similarities are not deliberate but it is obvious we share a sensibility and fascination with repetition. In literature, repetition is used as a way to highlight something. When we say a word twice we are underlining it, or amplifying its sound and its meaning. Advertisers know this by heart and that is the reason when a marketing campaign is created that the same commercials are repeated over and over. By the time I started to collect cigarette packs, I was 16 years old and knew only about Andy Warhol. And Warhol also came from graphic design and illustration to art.
So for sure design training can give us special tools we can use as an artist. And for sure it influences our perception of the visual culture that surrounds us. In my specific case the following story is also curious: in Sydney, in 2002 I was working for an advertising agency that was hired by BAT – British American Tobacco – to design and create sponsored events and all sorts of undirected branded objects, bypassing the existing laws of Australia, which, unlike Germany, strictly forbids cigarette advertising. So I guess this first-degree experience, like with the experience with entheogens, informs my work. But now returning to your first comment, it is true that I do not define myself as a Painter, or a Video-Artist. I work across a diverse range of mediums because different projects require different mediums and I enjoy this diversity of approaches and results.
Do you think, that your work could also be read as references to modernism resulting often in forms, which we know from somewhere; which we have seen somehow before?
Yes absolutely! In this specific exhibition, I consciously use forms that refer to modernism. The grid structure, the monochrome plane, the simple geometric shapes, the square, all this is a reference to the visual vocabulary and aesthetics of modernism. There is a high level of abstraction in the way the materials I use are manipulated and presented. And this is informed by art historical references, in particular, Minimalist, Conceptual art and Art Povera. So the work critically engages with these historical precedents but infuses them with a personal, almost autobiographical trace. I should also add that while these decisions are conscious the truth is that I really do work from a place other than my brain. I really do play with the objects in the picture; I organize them in a structure that is above all decided on a purely aesthetic base. Of course, I like order, I like straight lines and I like things that are clearly displayed. So the works follow this internal logic and this mathematical precision, but there is also a lot of playfulness and chance.
The exhibition this publication coincided with is considered by you as an important moment in your life. Is this exhibition a turning point in or a continuation of your practice? Can you also talk about the title of the exhibition?
This exhibition closes an important period of my life in which I was able to considerably develop my artistic practice. What made a real difference were the excellent working conditions I had during my residency in Bamberg. I had the right time frame – around 12 months – and the right spaces – a studio to work in and a flat to live in. This physical separation is for me important to have for separating art and life. It is not that they are not connected, but my work can only grow and mature if I take it almost like a job. The exhibition is both a turning point and a continuation of my work at the same time. I see it as a new chapter because I feel that I am closer to a visual language that is becoming more something on its own – like driving along a road on my own, and even if there are still a lot of references and influences, I feel that the works emancipate themselves from them. Simultaneously the exhibition is also a continuation of my previous work. There are recurrent themes that keep coming back, that can be traced back to my first solo show in 2006. There are key-words and concepts like memory, the body, addiction, that are always present; there are research themes like the tobacco history, identity and the representation of the self, and stylistic formats like the use of repetition and the critical dialogue with the vocabulary of modernism that is also a constant. I feel that I am one of those artists who keeps doing the same work over and over; rewriting always the same.
The title of the exhibition comes from the sum of all the columns in the abstract works. Normally I choose a title for the show at some stage near the end of the creative process. But in this specific exhibition, I decided not to think about the title at all until all the works were produced and the exhibition was clearly defined in my mind for space. When all works were finished I took pictures and printed them on the scale of the model I had of the exhibition room. It was then that I understood clearly how the works had a rigorous numerical composition. Most of the abstract works were doubled and all of them were organized in columns. I counted each column of each work. The diptych counts as two columns, the text painting four columns, the collection of papers four columns multiplied by two, the collection of filters twenty-five columns multiplied by two, the cigarette packs twelve columns multiplied by two and the permutation piece three columns multiplied by six. So I made this sum and that is how the number 106 was reached. When entering the exhibition, on the right, the only figurative elements that you see are the head sculptures. They have a strong, almost spiritual presence and are also part of the title. Finally, on the left side of the exhibition, there is a word referring to the process. It is the table I have used in my studio for the past twelve months. Presenting the table is for me important as it challenges the aura of the other objects by allowing the viewer access to the mechanisms of their production. I think it works well as a statement also because I believe the process is as important and enjoyable as the end result. The title then is absolutely concrete and descriptive and this becomes only clear when you see the exhibition. But by itself, the title is also ambiguous, a bit poetic. If you see the exhibition as one work, and I think this is true for all my shows, the title, like a serial composition, is in harmony with the presented artworks.
Jürgen Bock works as a curator, publisher and art theorist. His curatorships have included the Project Room at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon in 2000/2001 (Eleanor Antin, Nathan Coley, Harun Farocki, Renée Green, Nuno Ribeiro, Allan Sekula and Heimo Zobernig), the 2003 Maia Biennial and the German participation in the 2005 Triennial of India in New Delhi (Andreas Siekmann). In 2007 Jürgen Bock curated the Portuguese Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennial (Ângela Ferreira). At the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, he curated in 2008 the group exhibition ‘Drawing a Tension’ and in 2009 ‘Heimo Zobernig and the Collection of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Modern Art Centre’. His publications include the book ‘From Work to Text – Dialogues on Practise and Criticism in Contemporary Art’ and the Portuguese version of the artist’s book ‘TITANIC’s wake’ by Allan Sekula. He is the Director of the Maumaus Visual Arts School in Lisbon and also teaches on the MA Curatorial Studies Course at the University of Lisbon.
Odemira, Portugal, 1974. Lives and works in Lisbon and Malmö, Sweden.
2007 / 2009 2002 / 2005 1999 / 2001 1992 / 1996
Masters Programme in Fine Art / Malmö Art Academy – Lund University / Malmö, Sweden Independent Study Programme / Maumaus – School of Visual Arts / Lisbon, Portugal
Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design / Billy Blue College of Design / Sydney, Australia Bachelor (Honours) of Arts – Art History / FCSH – Universidade Nova de Lisboa / Lisbon, Portugal
2010 Another Autointerview, Instituto Franco-Portugais, Lisbon, Portugal 2009 Timeline, Galeria 111, Lisbon, Portugal
João Leonardo, The Mews, London, UK
2008 Time After Time, KHM Gallery, Malmö, Sweden 2006 As Time Goes By…, Galeria 111, Lisbon, Portugal
João Leonardo, Arte Contempo, Lisbon, Portugal
2009 Whoever I like turns out to be a weirdo, Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
Shocking Pinks, Queer Lisboa 13, Sala Buondi, Cinema São Jorge, Lisboa, Portugal The Best of Summer 2009, X-Huset, Kristiansand, Norway
Lista de Verbos, Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Elvas, Elvas, Portugal
An Iminencia da Queda, Galeria Diário de Notícias, Lisbon, Portugal
Equinócio de Verão, Galeria 111, Lisbon, Portugal
Årsutställning 2009, Malmö Art Academy, Malmö, Sweden
Em Bragança, Centro de Arte Contemporanea Graça Morais, Bragança, Portugal SWE.DE, Landstrasse 18, Braunschweig, Germany
Corpo, densidade e limite, Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Elvas, Elvas, Portugal Vestígio, Pavilhão 28, Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
2008 Poetic Madness and the Romantic Imagination, Rise Berlin Gallery, Berlin, Germany Arte Lisboa, Galeria 111, Parque das Nações, Lisbon, Portugal
À Volta do Papel – 100 Artistas, Centro de Arte Manuel de Brito, Algés, Portugal New Video Art From Europe, Blow 111, London, UK
My Name Is Red, Gallery Image Furini Arte Contemporanea, Arezzo, Italy E-Flux Video Rental, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal
Årsutställning 2008, Malmö Art Academy, Malmö, Sweden
Loop Festival, Hotel Catalonia Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain
Hardware / Software, Skaftell Center for Visual Arts, Seydisfjördur, Iceland
Danfoss ArtAward, Danfoss Headquarters, Nordborg, Denmark
Where are you from? / De onde vens?, Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnel, Iowa, USA
2007 Stream, White Box, New York, USA
O Gabinete de Curiosidades de Domenico Vandelli, FCT – Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
Antena 3 – Desedificar o Homem, Galeria Municipal Paços do Concelho, Torres Vedras, Portugal Arte Lisboa, Galeria 111, Parque das Nações, Lisbon, Portugal
To Be Continued… (Was Matcht Video Anders? Teil I), Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt, Germany Årsutsällning 2007, Konsthögskolan I Malmö, Malmö, Sweden
Crossing Borders, Palladium, Malmö, Sweden
Objecto: Simulacro, Hospital Júlio de Matos – Pavilhão Polivalente, Lisbon, Portugal
ARCO’ 07, Galeria 111, Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I, Madrid, Spain
Depósito – Anotações Sobre Densidade e Conhecimento, Universidade do Porto, Oporto, Portugal 2006 Arte Lisboa, Galeria 111, Parque das Nações, Lisbon, Portugal
Opere Nuove – No Words / Four Film Festival, Centro Cultural Claudio Trevi, Bolzano, Italy Toronto International Portuguese Film Festival, National Film Board Cinema, Toronto, Canada
Videoroom / Suspended Lines, Brighton Fringe Festival, Embassador Hotel, Brighton, UK Prøverommet, Bergen International Theatre – Teatergarasjen, Bergen, Norway
Athens Video At Festival, Multitrab Productions Hall, Athens, Greece
De Dentro / Inside, National Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
2005 Prémio EDP – Novos Artistas, Pavilhão Centro de Portugal, Coimbra, Portugal VideoEvento, Academia Internazionale di Studi in Arti e Media di Torino, Turim, Italy
Untouchable Things, Museum Centre Vapriikki, Backlight Triennal, Tampere, Finland
Arte e Espiritualidade, Cordoaria Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal
Alojamentos, Lojas da Freguesia da Pena – Maumaus, Lisbon, Portugal
VideoLisboa – 5th Internacional Video Festival, Forum Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Architecture as Something Transitory, Alta de Lisboa – Maumaus, Lisbon, Portugal
Toxic / O Discurso do Excesso, Projecto Teminal – Maumaus, Hangar K7, Oeiras, Portugal
Em Fractura / Colisão de Territórios, Projecto Teminal – Maumaus, Hangar K7, Oeiras, Portugal Mostra de Vídeo Português’05, Videoteca Municipal de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Just what is it…#4, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Project Room organized by Renée Green with Maumaus –
School of Visual Arts, Innsbruck, Germany
2004 Selecção Nacional, Pedro Valdez Cardoso & Maria Lusitano project for the exhibition Em Jogo / On Side, Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra, Portugal
2003 History as Something Transitory, Interpress – Maumaus, Lisbon, Portugal
Awards and Grants
2009 Gulbenkian Foundation Grant
2008 Nordic-Baltic Art Education Network, KUNO Express Travel Grant 2008 Danfoss Art Award, Denmark
2005 Prémio EDP – Novos Artistas, Portugal
Centro de Arte / Colecção Manuel de Brito, Algés, Portugal
Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas / Colecção António Cachola, Elvas, Portugal The Danfoss Art Foundation, Nordborg, Denmark
Critical Writings and Catalogue Statements
2009 "Body — Language — Repetition — Collection — Time – One essay about my practice", Malmö Art Academy Yearbook 2009, Lund University Press, Lund, 2009
2008 "Where are you from?", Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnel, Iowa, USA, 2008, pp. 78-80 2007 "O sol de Sol LeWitt", Revista L+Arte, no 36, May 2007, Lisbon, p. 20
"Bank (white cube)", Anotações Sobre Densidade e Conhecimento, Universidade do Porto, 2007, p. 108 "Nothing is Real", Objecto: Simulacro, Hospital Júlio de Matos, 2007, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 12-14
2007 "Hunter", Obscena – Revista de Artes Performativas, no 7, November 2007, pp. 44-55 www.revistaobscena.com/public/files/revista_obscena_07.pdf
2004 "Player", Selecção Nacional, Pedro Valdez Cardoso & Maria Lusitano project for the exhibition Em Jogo / On Side, Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra, Portugal , published in Jornal Público, June, 2004
2009 Almeida, Claudia, “Agora é o Mundo”, Visão Sete, April 2009
Duarte, Luís Ricardo, “Narrativa do Tempo”, Jornal de Letras Digital, April 23, 2009
Dinis, Hugo, “Obrigado João”, Exhibition Leaflet, Galeria 111, Lisbon, April 2009
Fazenda do Mar, Maria, “Why are you conducting this interview?”, L+Arte, May, 2009
Ferreira, Nuno Alexandre, “João Leonardo e Francisco Vidal na Galeria 111”, L+Arte, May, 2009 Ferreira, Nuno Alexandre, “João Leonardo at Galeria 111”, primeiraavenida.blogspot.com, April, 2009 Noronha Feio, Carlos, “João Leonardo expõe em Londres”, Expresso, June 12, 2009
Pinharanda, João, “Lista de Verbos”, Público – Guia do Lazer, July 18, 2009
2008 Guarda, Dinis (dir.) Video Arte and Art and Essay Film in Portugal, N_Books / Número, Lisbon, 2008
Lapa, Pedro, "The Apropriation of the Improper – Video as a device for reflecting upon the image", in Guarda, Dinis (dir.) Video Arte and Art and Essay Film in Portugal, N_Books / Número, Lisbon, 2008, p. 86
Reis, Pedro, “Uma selecção improvável, num lugar invulgar”, Artecapital.net, April 4, 2008 Ruy, Eva, "My name is red", Il Giornale.ch, May 30, 2008
Silvério, João, "Stream at White Box Gallery", NY Arts, Jan-Feb 2008
Söderholm, Carolina, "Att se men ändå inte se", Sydsvenskan, December 16, 2008
Tiezzi, Sheila, "My name is Red – Arezzo si tinge di rosso", in Arezzo.it, 06.21.2008
Wright, Lesley, “Exploring Portuguese art in Iowa or if all art is global, why do we speak different languages?”, Were are you from?, Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnel, Iowa, USA, 2008, pp. 29-33 (Cat.)
2007 Billgren, Tor, "Tre Att Se", Dygnet Runt, Dagens Nyheter insert, May 24, 2007, p. 20 Campos, Cristina, "Objecto / Simulacro", Artecapital.net, January 2007
Cunha e Silva, Paulo, Dir. Anotações Sobre Densidade e Conhecimento, Universidade do Porto, 2007 (Cat.)
Dinis, Hugo, The Unbuilding of Man / Catalog, Câmara Municipal de Torres Vedras and Fundação Serralves, November, 2007 (Cat.)
"Hunter", Obscena – Revista de Artes Performativas, no 7, November 2007, pp. 44-55 (published photo project by João Leonardo)
Lobo, Paula, "12 artistas portugueses exibem obras multimédia em Nova Iorque", Diário de Notícias, November 28, 2007, p. 38
Pérez, Miguel von Hafe, "Na política desiludiu-me a desistencia do impossivel", Jornal de Notícias, July 31, 2007
Pomar, Alexandre, “Menos Arco em 2008”, Alexandrepomar.typepad.com, October 2, 2007
Soares, Andréias Azevedo, “Versão (caótica) da história natural contada em 570 peças da Universidade do Porto”, Público, January 27, 2007
Teixeira da Silva, Helena, “UP tira esqueletos do armário”, Jornal de Notícias, January 27, 2007 2006 Amado, Miguel, "João Leonardo and Francisco Vidal", Artforum Online, September 2006
Almeida, Cláudia, "Arte, Vícios e Virtudes", Visão, no 707, September 21, 2006, Visão Sete insert magazine, p. 19
Faro, Pedro, "Vícios e Virtudes", L+Arte, no 29, October 2006, pp. 42-48
Lobo, Paula, "Como é (im)possível medir o tempo quando se repetem vícios e virtudes", Diário de Notícias, September 16, 2006, p. 44
Marchand, Bruno, As Time Goes By / Enquanto o Tempo Passa, Exhibition Leaflet, Galeria 111, Lisbon, September 2006
Pomar, Alexandre, "Prémio EDP", Expresso, no 1732, January 7, 2006, Revista Actual, p. 37
Vegar, José, "Novos Valores da Arte Portuguesa – Percorrendo o território, de novo", Jornal de Negócios, March 3, 2006, pp. 30-31
2005 Barão, Ana Luisa, "Fluidos Corporais e Arte Contemporânea", Blogspot Verbo Ver, December, 2005
Crespo, Nuno, "A Ambiguidade em Exposição", Público, December 21, 2005, Caderno Mil-Folhas, p. 19
Lobo, Paula, "João Leonardo vence EDP Novos Artistas", Diário de Notícias, December 16, 2005, p. 51
Lopes, Maria João, "João Leonardo – O artista que faz visitas guiadas no CCB", Público, December 21, 2005, p. 49
Lopes, Maria João, "João Leonardo é o vencedor do Prémio EDP Novos Artistas", Público, December 15, 2005, p. 11
Lopes, Maria João, "Novos artistas expõem no Pavilhão Centro de Portugal", Público, November 26, 2005, p. 49
Martin Breindl, Untouchable Things, Museum Centre Vapriikki, Backlight Triennal, Tampere, Finland, 2005 (Cat.)
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