Label Text: Expressive horizontal slashes of bright color slowly spread across the surface of the image. Our eye is drawn down the picture plane as the colors increase in number and intensity. Once we reach the bottom, our eye moves quickly back to the top, darting around the picture plane, only resting briefly before moving to another area. The neutral background provides a flat surface upon which colors dance and glide with delicate, rapid movements. Eis 2 (translation: Ice), is a series of prints inspired by abstract paintings in which Richter used a squeegee to move paint across the canvas.
Growing up during the Nazi and Soviet domination of Germany, Richter received a rather conservative art education–exposed only to the "Old Masters" rather than the new, modern art that was developing in western Europe and the United States. But Richter was rebellious and left East Germany to be inspired by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg.
Gerhard Richter's body of work can best be described as eclectic. While his earliest works are more photo-realist, relying on his amateur photographs, ads, book and magazine illustrations as his source material, he began to explore gestural abstraction in the late 1970s and early 80s. Colorful, painterly, expressionistic as well as intellectual, Richter concentrates presenting only the "essential" in each work.
"This screenprint reproduces a painting of the same title from a series Richter completed in 1989. It was published by the List Art Project which commissioned prints specifically for sale to generate funding for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York.
That such a complex painting could be translated in screenprint is a testament to the technological advancements achieved within the short history of this medium. Forty-one colors were required to duplicate the sophisticated layers of paint that constitute the original work. This was only possible because of the skill and knowledge gained in developing and working with translucent inks in which color is played upon color, often creating a new color. There is an irony, too, in translating the painting into a screenprint. To create the painting, itself, Richter used squeegees—the tools of screenprint. This image is less than half the size of the painting which measures 80 x 64 inches (written by Nancy Sojka for Passion on Paper: Masterly Prints from the KIA Collection, 2018)."