Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Watching Gerhard Richter
What a fantastic movie! I am grateful for netflix. It arrived in yesterday's mail, just as I took to bed with a horrible head cold. What better distraction than to watch Gerhard Richter paint, talk about painting, hang exhibits, and be a real person. Early in the film he looks at the camera and says, "I can't do this - paint while being watched. It is something done in secret." As the movie unfolds he seems to have overcome that self-consciousness and we see his awesome works develop. Sometimes I liked the earlier versions better than the final versions! It was interesting to see his relationship to the international art world, its museums, galleries, collectors, fans and paparazzi - later telling his assistant it was like theater, and once saying to someone "get me out of here."
Much of his free flowing technique using squeegees reminded me of a mixed media class I took in which the teacher never used a brush - she just moved paint around with the kind of plaster trowels you get in a hardware store. Big difference however in doing that on 9" x 12" watercolor paper with acrylics and using giant squeegees on huge canvasses with oil paint, while standing on a ladder! But because of that experience I have a great appreciation of his signature gestural movements, use of his whole body, and the intuitive nature of his mark making. I am a fan!