Gerhard Richter

Gegenverkehr e.V. Zentrum für aktuelle Kunst, Aachen, Germany

27 March 1969 – 22 April 1969

Stadtbild M4
Townscape M4

1968 85 cm x 90 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 170-4

Oil on canvas

The paintings Townscape M1 up to Townscape M9 [CR: 170/1-9] constitute Gerhard Richter's first series dealing with townscapes. In 1968 Gerhard Richter received the commission to paint a Milan cityscape, which resulted in the creation of Cathedral Square, Milan [CR: 169]. In the course of his preoccupation with the city of Milan as a motif, he also created the paintings Townscape M1 to M9.

Gerhard Richter initially produced one large-scale painting on one canvas, which he later cut into nine almost identically square pieces. The original painting is based on an aerial photograph, which survives on sheet 119 of Richter's Atlas. With Milan Cathedral at its centre, the source photograph allows for the localisation of the individual parts of the picture: Townscape M4 depicts a section of the ring of chapels of Milan Cathedral, and in the foreground the roofs of houses opposite.

Transforming the aerial photograph into paint, Gerhard Richter enlarged it without adding missing details. Thus, black, white and grey colour patches are liberally applied onto the canvas in a pastose manner.

The original painting's format of 275 x 290 cm was designed to be viewed from a greater distance. The dismantling of the painting into nine smaller formats means the beholder must stand closer in order to view them. What could have, from a distance, been recognised as an aerial image of a city disintegrates into abstract lines and areas when seen close-up.

The series Townscapes M1 up to M9 illustrates Gerhard Richter's engagement in the process of abstraction: starting from a concrete depiction, which was enlarged at first and then cropped, the final image can barely be traced back to the source photograph. The numbering of the single parts of the painting, which do not relate in any way to their initial positions in the original large format, also suggests that any kind of identification is less important to Richter than the painterly process of abstraction.

Notes prepared by editorial team

Sotheby's, London, UK: 06 February 2003

Estimate: GBP 180,000 – 250,000 USD 281,000 – 391,000
Sold For:
Bought in

This artwork is based on an image included in Atlas:

This artwork is included in the following publications:

Title Author Date

Publisher

Prestel, München (2012)

Details

Hardback, 305 pages

ISBN

9783791351896

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 74-79 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Panorama. Retrospektive Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2012

Publisher

Édition du Centre Pompidou, Paris (2012)

Details

Hardback, 304 pages

ISBN

978284426574X

Language

French

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkDiscussed: pp. 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Panorama. Rétrospective Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2012

Publisher

Tate Publishing (2011)

Details

Softcover, 304 pages

ISBN

9781854379443

ISBN

9781854379450

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 74-78 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Panorama. A Retrospective Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2011

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

3775722483

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 137 

Exhibitions

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder at Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibitions were dedicated to Gerhard Richter’s abstract pictures

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder Wilmes, Ulrich / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Söntgen, Beate / Stemmrich, Gregor  2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

9783775722490

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 137 

Exhibitions

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder at Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibitions were dedicated to Gerhard Richter’s abstract pictures

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Large Abstracts Wilmes, Ulrich / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Söntgen, Beate / Stemmrich, Gregor  2008

Publisher

Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf in association with D.A.P Distributed Art Publishers, New York, NY (2005)

Details

Hardback, 323 pages

ISBN

3937572201

ISBN

3926154764

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 25, 26 

Exhibitions

This catalogue raisonné records Richter’s works in the years 1999-2004. In his work, Gerhard Richter calls into question painting's boundaries, and the labels applied to painting and theories connected with them

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Werkverzeichnis 1993-2004 Zweite, Armin  2005

Publisher

DuMont, Köln (2002)

Details

Hardback, 420 pages

ISBN

9783832158484

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: p. 153 
Discussed: pp. 200, 201, 203 

Gerhard Richter has been widely regarded as a publicity shy artist. However, the biography Gerhard Richter. Maler gives an insight into Richter’s personal history as well as into the development of his artistic œuvre

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Maler Elger, Dietmar  2002

Publisher

Gli Ori, Prato (1999)

Details

Softcover, 205 pages

ISBN

8887700079

Languages

Italian, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 16, 30, 169, 171, 179, 181 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter Corà, Bruno / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Chevrier, Jean Francois / Moscati, Italo  1999

Publisher

Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. (1998)

Details

Softcover, 172 pages

ISBN

345833937X

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 53, 54 
Gerhard Richter, 18. Oktober 1977. Eine Kunst-Monographie Hemken, Kai-Uwe  1998
Gerhard Richter. Bilder = Paintings 1962 - 1985 Harten, Jürgen / Hering, Karl-Heinz / Honisch, Dieter / Loock, Ulrich / Ronte, Dieter / Elger, Dietmar  1986

Publisher

Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn (1976)

Details

Softcover, 102 pages

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned 
Illustrated: p. 95 (b/w) 

Exhibitions

Kunst der 60er und 70er Jahre aus Bonner Privatbesitz Stemmler, Dierk  1976

Publisher

Museum Folkwang, Essen (1972)

Details

Hardback, 154 pages

Languages

Italian, German, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 10-11, 39 
Illustrated: p. 64 (b/w) 
Gerhard Richter. 36. Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione tedesco = 36. Biennale in Venedig, Deutscher Pavilion = 36. Biennale in Venice, German Pavilion Honisch, Dieter / Helms, Dietrich / Honnef, Klaus / Ohff, Heinz / Dienst, Rolf Gunther / Schön, Rolf / Polke, Sigmar  1972

This artwork is shown or mentioned in the following videos:

1 related publication

Title Author Date

Publisher

Gegenverkehr e.V., Aachen, Zentrum für aktuelle Kunst, Aachen (1969)

Details

Softcover, 23 pages

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter Honnef, Klaus  1969