Gerhard Richter Painting
Someone around Richter has scheduled a gallery show. At the beginning of the film there are no paintings. By the end, I estimate he’s created 20 or so, enough to fill the space.
This documentary is calm. It is free of a narrative thrust. It adheres to a singular realism and is as inward as the act of painting.
It is absent of talking heads. While the filmmaker, Corinna Belz, interviews Richter’s assistants and the gallerist, she spares the audience trenchant cut-aways to art historians in warmly lit hotels, and Richter’s past lovers, and well-to-do admirers. Nor does she use visual metaphors. No time-lapse buds spreading their petals. No children.
When asked questions, Richter’s staff is working. The camera is an afterthought, they are mixing paints.
There are two paintings in particular for which Belz is a witness. They begin as fields of primary colors, applied thickly to a canvas, abstract and left there, speaking something cheerful. Richter is paces away, looking. Alone an assistant has a chuckle. I wonder how long the paintings will stay like that, he asks. Working and reworking, always, Richter.
Only once does Belz traipse into an archive. To edify us with context, there is a reel. Young Richter wearing black, in scratchy black and white, unable to cloak his mirthful eyes under black horn rims. TV people are in his studio.
An abrupt cut and Belz loses me. There are two paintings I don’t recognize. It takes a while to understand these are the ones from earlier. A tool of Richter’s is a four-foot squeegee. He pushes it to the canvas and drags the still-wet paint, folding it like dough. Not working in the spectrum of light, the colors mix into black. Slices into the top layer reveal the colors underneath. This he does sparely.
I’m actually saddened at the, what I can’t help but partially think is destruction, of the cheerful first drafts, though I know it’s of a process. Richter has the humble bafflement of an artist who doesn’t seek an understanding of his gift. When he says the paintings are finished, he doesn’t sound sure. Outside this film they are at some point deemed complete. Perhaps the deadline for the show has the final say.
Robert Hughes was right about Richter.
Ghosts on the Lake
The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas
The Secret in Their Eyes
Dover Thrift Editions
The Dover Thrift Edition Awards
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Fellini on Fellini
My Life as a Dog
Life and Art of
Herzog and Lynch
Let It Loose
Art Over Subject
A Fool's Paradise
All or Nothing
Lewis and Clark
The Journals of Lewis and Clark
Herzog and Lynch
The Mill and the Cross
A New Life
At the National Book Fest
The Museum of Innocence
The Birthday Party
Six Characters in Search of an Author
Gerhard Richter Painting
Living in the Material World
A Midsummer Night's Dream All's Well That Ends Well Antony and Cleopatra The Comedy of Errors Coriolanus Cymbeline Hamlet Julius Caesar King Henry IV Part 1 King Henry IV Part 2 The Life of Henry the Fift King Henry VI Part 1 King Henry VI Part 2 King Henry VI Part 3 King Henry VIII King Lear King Richard II King Richard III The Life and Death of King John Love's Labour's Lost Macbeth Measure for Measure The Merchant of Venice The Merry Wives of Windsor Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles, Prince of Tyre  Romeo and Juliet The Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens Titus Andronicus Troilus and Cressida Twelfth Night The Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsmen The Winter's Tale
The Brasilia Review My Novel 3 Quarks Daily Arts & Lit Prize Nomination Missouri Review Contest 1 Missouri Review Contest 2 Book Republic Selection
Razlog Levinson 3 Levinson 2 Levinson 1 Tyrol Petit Jean Race Holly G. Prevent Somebody Mississippi Rain in the Cafe Kentucky River Paris Montreal Big Island Lyon Colorado Oahu Weimar Newborn Artistry Calis Inmost Stares How Obvious David Attenborough Philosophy 1 Marcos and the Maniacs The Pantanal Aught-tober Drywall Banned The River North Saul Birmingham Broken Neck The Indian Viable One Polly The Sign Acabou Cloven Russ and I Money Talks The Top of Bud's Skull Pik Oh Bud Lizards I Bud A Scorpion Freddy O'Clare A New Cartoon Short The Weiner Platz Affair Help, Coach The People's Voice The Glitch SE Asia Labels Oh Geri Gehargehunk The Geologist Gordon Morgan The Unified Team Gymn Was a Spy True Crime Stonehenge Fishing Ricky the River Aspirin Two Messa Jo's The Feeling of Being Hit The Prioress Harz Roller Cardinal Ordinal Bacterium Is Unrelated When Sheryl Was Little Hey Guys Lads, Lasses Jevon Had a Sad Face Recipe for Attracting Aliens This Mess The HMS Colophon I've Got a Song The Elephants The Trouble with the Fire Station The Right Family Faladabad 24 Hoof Prints The Future Back to the Meat World The Pebble Gelsomina Kept Excerpt
Hope Brings Sleep Pelo Amor de Deus
Damsels in Distress
Friday, or The Other Island
Self Portrait Abroad
The Work of
While Mortals Sleep
What Art Gives Us
Four Men on a Raft
One Mo Time