This was the last art gallery I had the chance to visit on the trip to Amsterdam. The S.M.A.K museum is located in Ghent, and we stopped off on the long and tedious drive back to the UK. One of my favourite pieces that I saw here was Gerhard Richter’s huge panels of glass stood leant up against each other, which seemed to be very precarious. They appeared to be balancing, just by leaning on each other at angles. The glass reflected his colourful paintings around it, which added an extra element of interest in the piece, the placement of the pieces was very well thought out. The ceiling above this room was frosted glass panels, which lit up the room in a really natural and even light. I am a firm believer that paintings are meant to be viewed in a natural light because they never seem to have the same quality of colour under an artificial fluorescent light. This was the first time that I had seen Richter’s work in person, and it really opened my eyes to the techniques that he uses. I think that it is really interesting how he reveals previous layers of the painting by scraping them away.
The long piece directly behind the large panels of glass, was a large sheet of aluminium that had been printed on, using extraordinarily thin lines of colour. The lines were so thin that unless your face was millimetres from the piece, you could not distinguish between lines, and therefore your eyes went blurry and struggled to look at the piece as a whole. I think that this was a really clever idea in that the viewer could not view the piece without the lines blurring and moving around. I also think that the use of aluminium is very interesting. I would like to experiment with some different materials, even if it is just painting on a surface other than fabric or canvas, and aluminium could offer a completely different surface with some different qualities and new challenges.