HAMBURG.- Blurred surfaces, dissolving contours, hazy appearances and indistinct motifs: More and more often images that are out of focus appear in both contemporary painting and photography. Like no other artist, Gerhard Richter (*1932) has been employing the effect of blurring in his art since the 1960s. Apart from selected figural and abstract paintings the exhibition presents photographs and a film by Richter (Volker Bradke, 1966), to reveal that the phenomenon of the out-of-focus appearance, mostly generated by the painterly treatment of photographic models, is a central theme throughout his entire career. In the process of (un-)finishing his paintings, Richter raises questions about what a picture is able to reflect at all, whether it carries a signification or if it merely represents its own, seductively beautiful surface. For quite some time, the theme of the blurred image is no longer exclusive to Gerhard Richter. As the many, differing works in the exhibition show, the phenomenon of images that are, apparently, out of focus has, to the contrary, become a characteristic and even determinating element in contemporary art. Unscharf. Nach Gerhard Richter presents works by twenty-four nationally and internationally renowned artists, all dealing with the blurred image or indistinct subject matter in their own specific ways. The exhibition deals with this younger generations reaction to Gerhard Richter and examines the manifold aspects and questions raised by pictures that are out of focus.
Blurry pictures present their motifs in a state between apparition and dissolution, between memory and forgetting. Frequently they are the result of a complex process during which the boundaries between painting and photography themselves are blurred as the interaction between a photographic original, its painterly treatment and renewed photography is set in motion. The relationship between the paintings and the motifs they represent seems to have become unstable. For the artists in Unscharf. Nach Gerhard Richter this is, at the same time, an upsetting and a liberating experience. Their individual approaches generate a plentiful and rich world of blurry images, irritating and fascinating, all marked by a seductive beauty that is here first presented in a museum show.
The exhibition features the following artists: Pablo Alonso, David Armstrong, Anna und Bernhard Blume, Michael Engler, Wolfgang Ellenrieder, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Maxine Henryson, Nicole Hollmann, Bill Jacobson, Adam Jankowski, Tamara K.E., Wolfgang Kessler, Karin Kneffel, Peter Loewy, Marc Lüders, Ralf Peters, Qiu Shihua, Gerhard Richter, Ugo Rondinone, Johanna Smiatek, Thomas Steffl, Ernst Volland, Franziskus Wendels, Michael Wesely and Paul Winstanley