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    Gerhard Richter, Eisberg, 1982, Oil on canvas, 100.5 by 151 cm  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £17.7 MILLION

    Gerhard Richter’s Eisberg will come to auction for the first time at Sotheby’s evening sale of contemporary art in London on March 8.  It was painted soon after the artist’s divorce from his first wife Ema in 1981. Gerhard and Ema had been married for 25 years, but by the early 1980s Richter was living with Isa Genzken, a successful young artist. In the words of his biographer, Dietmar Elger, Eisberg was created as an attempt “to work through his unfulfilled hope for familial happiness and to take final stock of a difficult period in his life.

    “For an artist who so consistently sought to objectively portray everyday nature as filtered through photography, the iceberg paintings hold a special place among Richter’s landscapes, coming closest to the transcendental sublime of 19th century German Romanticism. In the short time I’ve been lucky enough to live with this painting, I’ve been truly fascinated to see its colours change every day – sometimes glowing and warm, sometimes icy cold. It’s a painting that never stands still” commented Alex Branczik, Head of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Europe.

    Estimated at £8 – 12 million / HK$76.8 – 115.2 million, Eisberg is the largest of only three Iceberg paintings made by Richter. The second work is held in the prestigious collection of Doris and Donald Fisher that is promised to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. A third work, Eis (1981) sold at Sotheby’s London in February 2012 for £4.3 million. This one is estimated at £8-12 million.

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