Wald (3), 1990
  • © Gerhard Richter - Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin Argyroglo

The notion of the forest occupies a special place in the iconography of German Romanticism.

Throughout his career, Gerhard Richter has evoked the forest in figurative paintings based on photos as well as in abstract works, capturing the ambivalence of a place that can be perceived as both dangerous and protective. Wald (3) (1990) belongs to a group of three paintings in which Richter tackles this theme in an abstract manner for the first time. A bold horizontal motion rips through a thick black veil to reveal successive strata of bright colours, a characteristic trait of the squeegee that gives way to sensual shimmers and blurred effects.