Gerhard Richter Painting


“Magnificent and evocative observances of Richter laboring in his studio come as close as cinema gets to tracking the impulses and paradoxes of a gifted imagination.” — Aaron Hillis, Village Voice

Director: Corinna Belz
Year: 2011
Country: Germany
Running time: 97 mins

Producer: Thomas Kufus
Photography: Johann Feindt, Frank Kranstedt, Dieter Stürmer
Editor: Stephan Krumbiegel
In German and English, with English subtitles

With: Gerhard Richter, Norbert Arns, Hubert Becker, Sabine Moritz-Richter, Konstanze Ell, Marian Goodman, Benjamin Buchloh, Kasper König, Ulrich Wilmes, Sandy Nairne

Festivals: Toronto 2011

“Corinna Belz’s process-oriented record of, yes, Gerhard Richter painting, sometimes pulls in close, sometimes stays back, as the calm, kindly, rigorous master digs into a series of abstracts in his Cologne studio. Aside from showing Richter attending to daily business and archival glimpses of his feisty younger self, the documentary sticks with the now-80-year-old artist as he paints, pauses, contemplates, and offers humble-sounding koans… Most exciting of all is the heavy scrape of the giant squeegee Richter draws across the canvas, magically transforming the paint below and thrilling the eye and ear with the near-tactile reality of contact and creation. Serene and soft-spoken, Richter resembles an absent-minded uncle, though his powers of observation snap into focus when, for example, he declares a painting may last only a few hours and then appear worthless… At times filling the screen with symmetrical compositions of paintings in progress in the studio, the film is akin to being in a museum that’s come alive.” — Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment

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