Gerhard Richter painting

Gerhard Richter painting

DVD - 2012 | German
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Born in 1932 in Dresden, Gerhard Richter is considered one of the world's greatest living painters and now nearly 80 years old, agreed to talk about his work, as a small film crew documents his creative process. Blunt, provocative, unashamedly curmudgeonly, and iconoclastic (but never cynical), the artist says he's 'interested in things he doesn't understand,' that 'painting is a secretive business,' and that 'each painting is an assertion that tolerates no company'.
Publisher: [Canada] : Mongrel Media [distributor], c2012.
Branch Call Number: 759.3 GER
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 97 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Richter, Gerhard 1932-
Mongrel Media

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c
crawford_7
Oct 10, 2017

Title: Gerhard Richter Painting (2012)
subject: Abstract Art; Mental processes of the Artist.

Gerhard Richter – 80 years old in this video – is a famous modern German artist. Over his career, he has produced works in a wide range of media, but this film is almost exclusively about his post-1976 Abstract Works.
On the DVD cover it states: “. . . one of the most important living painters shows how he does it.” This statement is rather misleading since it gives the impression that this video is about physical technique, but this is not the case – it is about 'mental technique' – the mental processes that go on in the mind of the painter.
A great deal of the video shows him painting large seven-foot-square canvases using a seven-foot-long trowel on which he loads a bunch of paint, and then drags it across the surface – much like a plasterer applying plaster to a wall - and then he stands back to view it and think about it while he talks to the cinematographer and discusses what he is doing, and the process in general.
At 8:45, there is a short out-take, clearly taken from an old black and white film interview when he was in his twenties. In this out-take, he says, “What interests me, in general, are things I don't understand. It's like that will every picture: I don't like the ones I understand.”
What strikes me about this video, is that - for such a famous modern artist – he is clearly working on something he still does not understand, and even at 80 years old and after working on these types of abstract works for thirty years, he still has a great deal of trouble trying to decide if the work is finished or not. I suppose that the reason is that it is an 'abstract work'.
Visually, this video is very slow moving, as it is really about the thought process of the painter and not necessarily what he is physically doing at the time.

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c
crawford_7
Oct 10, 2017

"What interests me in general are things I don't understand. It's like that with every picture: I don't like the ones I understand."

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