In 1967 German artist Gerhard Richter produced the installation “4 Panes of Glass” in which four large sheets of glass framed in metal were connected on a central axis and swang between four poles. Since then, Richter started to include glass in his work, developing installations by means of many pencil sketches looking as a strange crossing between technical and expressive drawings.
Apparently, in the middle of the 60s the artist felt fed up with painting and found in the transparent material a new medium to investigate the complex relationship between reality and representation. The ambivalence of the objects – are they sculpures to be looked at or frames to reality to look through? – provides a conceptual layer to the works. Richter came back to the glass installation several time over his career: “Double Pane of Glass” in 1977, “Eight Grey” in 2001, “6 Grey Mirrors” in 2003, “11 Panes” in 2004 and “5 Panes (House of Cards)” in 2013. In these pieces, glass is not only employed for its transparency but also in order to reflect the viewer and the room while distorting and fade the limits of the environment.
© 2015 Gerhard Richter