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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Gerhard Richter Painting Listed Above $20 Mil Sells at Pace Gallery’s Art Basel Booth

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Gerhard Richter’s large, richly textured, and riotously polychromatic 1986 oil painting “A.B. Courbet, ” a highlight of the Pace Gallery’s booth at this week’s Art Basel, was sold today during the second day of the fair’s VIP preview. The work was listed in the $25 million range.

It was sold earlier today for an undisclosed sum to an as yet unnamed buyer. It was one of the most expensive artworks available at the Swiss fair, whose top lot is the astronomically priced $78 million Mark Rothko at the Marlborough booth.

The 118 inch by 98 inch oil on canvas composition is one of the centerpieces of the Pace booth, which ARTINFO’s Benjamin Genocchio deemed “stellar,” though not sufficiently so to land on his list of Art Basel 2012’s 10 best booths.

— Judd Tully

(Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate / Courtesy Pace Gallery)

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  1. by doba Afolabi

    Beautiful! This piece looks so priceless to me. Full of captivating sensation !

  2. by doba Afolabi

    Beautiful! This piece looks so priceless to me. Full of captivating sensation ! The depth, perspective and tonal placement of colors, 3-dimensional illusion of the textural effects and a lot more give this piece a magnanimous adoration !

  3. “3-dimensional illusion of textural effects”, “priceless”, “depth”, “perspective”, “tonal placement”.


    None of these qualities are either represented nor apparent in this painting. I saw this exact type of work every day in art school twenty years ago.

    It’s garbage. Expensive garbage.

  4. This painting by Gerhard Richter is stunning because of the specific complexity of its color, texture and range of depth. One aspect of the piece that you do not see is its scale – at just over 10′ tall it has a truly imposing feeling. Having seen the painting in person and knowing the history of Richter’s work and its evolution from photography to his exploration of the squeegee method. – Inson Wood

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