this is such fun!

Gerhard Richter turned 82 on February 9.  This post is a little celebration of the man and his wondrous ways of creating.

Gerhard Richter: detail

Some weeks ago SBS TV re-screened Corinna Belz’s award-winning 2012 documentary, Gerhard Richter Painting.

Belz spent three years as an observer in Richter’s Cologne studio capturing mesmerizing footage of the artist producing his radical abstract works. As we witness him mixing layer upon layer of bold primary colors, smearing the wet paint with a giant squeegee and scraping at the surfaces of the canvases, Richter’s masterpieces appear before our eyes. “You get the feeling the paintings are staring at you,” says Belz, who met the painter while filming his vibrant pixelated stained glass window for the Cologne Cathedral. “There’s a physicality to Richter’s paintings. I wanted the viewer to become immersed in the subtly suspenseful cycle of the process.”

As I watched I scribbled down a few droplets of Richter’s wisdom that resonated deeply with me … all the quotes below are from this wonderful film, from the mouth of the man himself. Enjoy!


Painting: Gerhard Richter


You can’t explain a painting in words.
Painting is another way of thinking.


Painting by Gerhard Richter (detail)


I’m always at a loss. That’s not the problem.

If chance had taken me elsewhere, I’d love it there.


Painting by Gerhard Richter


Painting is a secretive business.
As a painter I “let go” in secret.

To paint under observation is the worst thing there is. Worse than being in hospital.
I act differently.


Painting by Gerhard Richter (detail)


I create something I must respond to – until there’s nothing left to do.

Truth is the quality of what’s “good.”



This is such fun!

More links:

Gerhard Richter (Official Site)

Richter’s paintings. How did he make them?

The film Gerhard Richter Painting by Corrina Belz is available on DVD

Images ©  Gerhard Richter sourced from a selection of public galleries.
(A very subjective selection, based on my adoration of colour and texture.)

4 thoughts on “this is such fun!

  1. This is wonderful and it makes me want to get stuck into some ink and pigment right away! Thanks for this great posting Miriam, I will have to find the DVD now 🙂

    1. Many thanks for your comment Ron. I feel the same – reaching for colour, hungry to get my hands messy, loving the sensuousness of texture and tone. The film – it’s a treasure, well worth the investment!

      In his enigmatic way, Richter is like a Zen master, meeting the unknown with his innocent eye, delighting in the dance and leaving his unique trace of the encounter.

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