Daniel Richter (*1962 in Eutin, lives and works in Berlin) is one of Germanys most important contemporary painters and has made his name with a hybrid of abstraction and figuration. The kestnergesellschaft
is now showing new paintings and drawings from 2008 to 2011 which deal with conflictual narrations and the vocabulary of the line.
The starting point for these works is the collection of fantastical tales known as the »1001 Nights«. Richter transforms these Arabic stories into menacing, fairytale-like scenarios that allude to an orientalism which has changed since 9/11. As the title indicates, Richters works contain an extra zero a Ground Zero that gives the fantastical element an eerie and at the same time very concrete touch. These new works distance themselves from the tight crowds and urban settings of earlier paintings, and concentrate on a very few protagonists in fictive landscapes. Allegoric duels are played out amidst these scenarios: anarchy in contrast to the state, domination versus oppression, the nomadic in comparison to the sedentary.
These irreconcilable situations are enriched by formal contradictions. The new works are determined by a linear vocabulary that originally belonged to the medium of the drawing, but is here applied in painterly terms. Richter composes the background of his canvases with color progressions that recall Morris Louis, and he delineates his figures by quoting Edvard Munch. At the same time he minimizes the authorial gesture by overlaying the expressive line with mechanical lines taken from the geological sciences: exact cartographic or seismological drawings simulate a natural environment in these works.
Works by Daniel Richter can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Boros Collection in Berlin, the Falckenberg Collection in Hamburg, and elsewhere. Daniel Richter has presented solo exhibitions at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel, the Kunsthaus Hamburg, the Denver Art Museum and the Museum der Moderne Salzburg.