Domplatz, Mainland could set new Richter record

It looks like many things. It could be the image of a VHS video paused, a photograph that has inevitably fallen prey to the blight that is camera shake or, if you want to be ambitious, a still from a video game.
What Dompltaz, Mainland is, of course, is nothing of the above. It is a very famous painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter, and it is up for sale in New York next month (May 3rd).
The 1968 work of art, which was executed on a fantastically titanic canvas – nine foot by nine foot – is an exquisite example of photorealism at its most profound and inspiring.
“Domplatz, Mainland returns to Sotheby’s 15 years after setting a new auction record for the artist and just seven months after Sotheby’s established the new benchmark for Richter with Abstraktes Bild (809-4) selling for $34.3 million,” said Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art.
“The work represents the pinnacle of Richter’s technical achievement and its scale, power and visual impact rivals his celebrated abstract works. This is the work the market has been waiting for and its sale is certain to be an historic event.”
Estimated to go for $30 million to $40 million (approximately £19.9 million to £26.4 million), the painting is part of a canon of works that saw the artist veer towards more figurative works.
Although understandably known for his abstract compositions, this photorealist work, which has hung in Chicago’s Park Hyatt Hotel, could possibly set a new standard for Richter at auction and foster a new discourse about the importance of this style in his overall oeuvre.
Whatever stems from such a conversation will do no damage to the living legend who is considered to be up there with the greats of the post-war period. Indeed, many would go so far as to say that he is one of the 20th century’s all-time pioneers.
In 2012 he underwent two major retrospectives – Tate Modern in London and the Pompidou Center in Paris – and, of course, did remarkably well at auction. Writing about his popularity in the Telegraph last year, Georgina Adam, art market editor at The Art Newspaper, explained that his work is “unassailably safe”.
“Richter’s late, abstract works are particularly sought after because of their broad appeal,” she continued. “Colourful abstracts which can fit into any interior, cannot offend anyone (unlike some of his tougher earlier works which deal with death or politics) and are recognisable trophies which give the owner immense bragging rights.”
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