Freud vs Richter

September 7 2011

Image of Freud vs Richter

Picture: Guardian

Jonathan Jones looks forward to the Gerhard Richter exhibition at Tate Modern (opens 6th October), and decides Richter was a better artist than Freud.

Even as a portraitist, Richter is Freud's equal. And he does so much else besides: he paints landscapes, abstractions, histories. Where Freud can be seen as a painter who resisted photography, Richter is a painter who embraces the photograph. In this, he is scarcely novel. His ease with the photographic age echoes 19th-century artists such as Degas and Manet – artists he resembles in other ways, too, as an ironic observer of the modern scene.

Let's drop the parochial media mourning. Freud was not the only important painter of our time. Richter is actually the greater artist, I suspect – and his works appear more inspiring for younger painters, and photographers.

Think I'd rather have a Freud. Wouldn't you?

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