The Reich Richter collaboration, a Shed commission, examines the intersection between Richter’s formula for his “Patterns” series and Reich’s rigorous, repeating musical structures in a genre-crossing moving picture work made in collaboration with Corinna Belz and featuring the world premiere of a new Reich composition. In his “Patterns” series, Richter repeatedly divides and mirrors a computer image of an abstract painting to further abstract the work, ending in solid bands of color. Richter has based his striped wallpapers for Reich Richter on the painting Abstraktes Bild (1990)—also exhibited in the installation—to which he has applied his “Patterns” formula.
Of those sitting on the provided fabric stools, 95 percent watched the animated screen as the live orchestra shifted gradually from melodic playing to frenetic—the music getting more impassioned as the notes got sharper and the screen’s flat lines began to form into arabesques and larger patterns. Then the screen moved back to featuring the slim horizontal stripes it had begun with. All of the colors vibrated before going black at the very last note. It brought to mind Richter, who, born in 1932, is in the later stages of his life. The piece felt like an elegy.