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AT FIRST SIGHT

LEA THOMASSEN | DATE 7/2/2013

Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'

Patterns are ever-present elements in our daily lives, and as such, they can easily be taken for granted. Ornate wallpapers that beg you to question the taste of whomever put them up and age-old adages about horizontal stripes making you look chubbier permeate our everyday perceptions. Fashion designers bring their work to life with all manner of patterns, ranging from minimalistic and abstract motifs to delicately hand-painted flowers. But despite their ubiquity, patterns by themselves seem always to remain at the edge of our consciousness, begging the question of what their place really is, and what importance they might carry—in art, as well as popular culture.

Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'

German painter Gerhard Richter manages, consciously or not, to reframe this discussion through his mesmerizing artist's book, Patterns, in which—through division, repetition and mirroring of his very own "Abstract Painting (724-4)"—he displays a series of intricate new patterns that gradually transform through a methodical, mathematical process.

Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'

Richter’s combination of painting and method, culminating in a brick-like tome of new and beautiful designs, brings to light the pattern as a concept, fixing new attention to its worth in art and inspiring reflection on the labor of pattern creation itself. Richter’s nerdy enthusiasm for the potential of pattern is more than infectious, and the content of the book—a veritable feast for the eyes—reaches out to the art lover as much as the design infatuate.

Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'

Lea Thomassen, a sophomore at Barnard College, is a summer intern at ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'
Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'
Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'
Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'
Method & Math in 'Gerhard Richter: Patterns'

Gerhard Richter: Patterns

Gerhard Richter: Patterns

D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers
Hbk, 8.25 x 5.5 in. / 488 pgs / illustrated throughout.