Gerhard Richter: “Lesende (Reader)”, offset print after the oil painting of the same title from 1994, Catalog Raisonné: 804, unsigned, picture size: 50.8 x 35.8 cm, sheet size: 71 x 55.9 cm. Ask for price!
“Reader” is one of Richter’s paintings which was created based on one of his own photographs and therefore is categorized as ‘Fotobild’, photo image. The portrait of the reader shows one of Richter’s portraits in profile, Sabine Moritz, who Richter married in 1995. We look at a female figure facing to the left, whose face is easily recognizable as she wears her blonde hair tied in a braid. She holds a newspaper or rather a magazine in both hands. The reader conveys a certain calmness, which is produced by her lowered gaze and by the closed form of their posture. Remarkable is also the unusual lighting in this painting. As the background in a darkened red appears relatively calm, nothing does distract from the main character of the reader.
The brightest spot in the painting is the illuminated neck of the blonde woman.
Thus the reader is clearly moved into the centre of attention. Our viewing direction is predetermined by this spotlight-like illumination. This puts the viewer into a kind of circular motion: First you take the brightest spot in the picture – the neck of the reader – then you look further to her face, then we come to her eyes before going further to the magazine and back to the concentrated facial expression of the “Reader”.