Gerhard Richter – “Change human beings through painting”

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild 742-2, 1991

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild 742-2, 1991

“One has to believe in what one is doing, one has to commit oneself inwardly, in order to do painting. Once obsessed, one ultimately carries it to the point of believing that one might change human beings through painting. But if one lacks this passionate commitment, there is nothing left to do. Then it is best to leave it alone. For basically painting is idiocy.” (From Richter, ‘Notes 1973’, in The Daily Practice
of Painting, p.78.)

“I hate the dazzlement of skill,” Richter wrote as a young man of 32,
in 1964. “For example, being able to draw something freehand from life,
or – even worse – inventing or putting together something entirely
original: a particular form, a particular composition or an eccentric
colour scheme … I want to leave everything as it is. I therefore
neither plan nor invent; I add nothing and omit nothing … Being able
to do something is never an adequate reason for doing it.”

Gerhard Richter, Gordon Burn, Guardian

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