Wintery thoughts

Gerhard Richter,  Abstract Painting 912-1, 2009

Taking a last look at Gerhard Richter: Panorama at Tate Modern, which finishes tomorrow, I was struck, as at previous visits, by the large, predominantly white, abstract painting in the final room of the main show. The white of the painting makes it feel like a large, snowy landscape at once charming me and reminding me that this winter has so far failed to bite.

The traces of colour coming through the white make me think of Peter Doig’s Ski Jacket, a painting of a similar size and somewhat similar palette, though Doig’s painting makes much more use of colour. (It also reminds me of Wilhelm Sasnal’s Photophobia though that lacks scale by comparison.)

Peter Doig,  Ski Jacket, 1994

In different ways, both works unfailingly hold my attention. I love the blankness of Richter’s white surface, occasionally punctuated by colour from underneath but I also love the busyness of Doig’s mountain scene with its slopes teeming with skiers in brightly coloured jackets. I could look at either of these paintings for a very long time without getting bored.

It’s winter. I want snow!

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