One of the world’s greatest living painters, the German artist Gerhard Richter has spent over half a century experimenting with a tremendous range of techniques and ideas, addressing historical crises and mass media representation alongside explorations of chance procedures. Infamously media-shy, he agreed to appear on camera for the first time in 15 years for a 2007 short by filmmaker Corinna Belz called Gerhard Richter’s Window.
Her follow-up, Gerhard Richter Painting, is exactly that: a thrilling document of Richter’s creative process, juxtaposed with intimate conversations (with his critics, his collaborators, and his American gallerist Marian Goodman) and rare archive material. From our fly-on-the-wall perspective, we watch the 79-year-old create a series of large-scale abstract canvasses, using fat brushes and a massive squeegee to apply (and then scrape off) layer after layer of brightly colored paint. This mesmerizing footage, of a highly charged process of creation and destruction, turns Belz’s portrait of an artist into a work of art itself. (Germany, 2011, 97 min., color, Blu-ray)
“Magnificent and evocative…as close as cinema gets to tracking the impulses and paradoxes of a gifted imagination.” — Aaron Hillis, Village Voice (FULL REVIEW)
“Thrilling…akin to being in a museum that’s come alive.” — Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment
“Fascinating, even exciting…Mr. Richter communicates a pleasure in work, even at its most laborious.” — Rachel Saltz, The New York Times (FULL REVIEW)
“A stunning experience…bound to draw the attention of the art world everywhere.” — Dan Fainaru, Screen International (FULL REVIEW)
“A gorgeously rendered work of art. Offers fascinating insight…and a mesmerizing survey of [Richter's] complete oeuvre.” — Alissa Simon, Variety (FULL REVIEW)
“A must-see for followers of contemporary painting…one of the most important living painters shows how he does it.” — John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter (FULL REVIEW)