Best 146 of Gerhard Richter quotes - MyQuotes

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Gerhard Richter
By Anonym 15 Sep

Gerhard Richter

The photograph is the most perfect picture. It does not change; it is absolute, and therefore autonomous, unconditional, devoid of style. Both in its way of informing, and in what it informs of, it is my source.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Painting is consequently an almost blind, desperate effort, like that of a person abandoned, helpless, in totally incomprehensible surroundings.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Now there are no priests or philosophers left, artists are the most important people in the world.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Perhaps the choice is a negative one, in that I was trying to avoid everything that touched on well-known issues - or any issues at all, whether painterly, social or aesthetic. I tried to find nothing too explicit, hence all the banal subjects; and then, again, I tried to avoid letting the banal turn into my issue and my trademark. So it's all evasive action, in a way.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Family photos, pictures of groups, those are truely wonderful. And they are just as good as the old masters, just as rich and just as beautifully composed (what does that mean anyway).

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Nature/Structure. There is no more to say. In my pictures I reduce to that. But 'reduce' is the wrong word, because these are not simplifications. I can't verbalize what I am working on: to me, it is many-layered by definition; it is what is more important, what is more true.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I pursue no intentions, no directions; I have no program, no style and no mission.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

That was a piece I did in 1963 with Konrad Lueg in a department store, in the furniture department. It was announced in some papers as an exhibition opening, but the people who came didn't know that it was to be a sort of Happening. I don't think it is quite right that it has become so famous anyhow. It was just a lot of fun, and the word itself, Capitalist Realism, hit just right. But it wasn't such a big deal.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Yes, we were amazed when that happened. It was a real joke to us. Konrad Lueg and I did a Happening, and we used the phrase just for the Happening, to have a catchy name for it; and then it immediately got taken up and brought into use. There's no defence against that - and really it's no bad thing.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

My landscapes are not only beautiful or nostalgic, with a Romantic or classical suggestion of lost Paradises, but above all 'untruthful'.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Gerhard Richter

To believe, one must have lost God. To paint, one must have lost art.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Of course I constantly despair at my own incapacity, at the impossibility of ever accomplishing anything, of painting a valid, true picture or even knowing what such a thing ought to look like. But then I always have the hope that, if I persevere, it might one day happen. And this hope is nurtured every time something appears, a scattered, partial, initial hint of something which reminds me of what I long for, or which conveys a hint of it – although often enough I have been fooled by a momentary glimpse that then vanishes, leaving behind only the usual thing.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Throwaway snapshots come closest to achieving the state of pure picture.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I choose depending on the way I feel; randomly, in other words. When I haven't done anything for a long time, I always start small, on paper.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I wanted to make it as anonymous as a photo. But it was perhaps also the wish for perfection, the unapproachable, which then means loss of immediacy. Something is missing then, though; that is why I gave that up.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

But I would like to reach the point where I could cut up an illustrated magazine at random and see to it that the parts would each become a painting. I cannot properly explain it right now. Already now I am searching for the most boring and irrelevant photo material that I can find. And I would like to get to the point soon where this determined irrelevance could be retained, in favor of something that would be covered up otherwise by artifice.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

My landscapes are not only beautiful, or nostalgic, with a Romantic or classical suggestion of lost Paradises, but above all 'untruthful.' By 'untruthful,' I mean the glorifying way we look at Nature. Nature, which in all its forms is always against us, because it knows no meaning, no pity, no sympathy, because it knows nothing and is absolutely mindless, the total antithesis of ourselves.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Composition is a side issue. Its role in my selection of photographs is a negative one at best. By which I mean that the fascination of a photograph is not in its eccentric composition but in what it has to say: its information content. And, on the other hand, composition always also has its own fortuitous rightness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Gerhard Richter

When I paint from a photograph, conscious thinking is eliminated. I don't know what I am doing. My work is far closer to the Informel than to any kind of 'realism'. The photograph has an abstraction of its own, which is not easy to see through.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

It can be a work by Mondrian, a piece of music by Schönberg or Mozart, a painting by Leonardo, Barnett Newman or also Jackson Pollock. That's beautiful to me. But also nature. A person can be beautiful as well. And beauty is also defined as 'untouched'. Indeed, that's an ideal: that we humans are untouched and therefore beautiful.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Since there is no such thing as absolute rightness and truth, we always pursue the artificial, leading, human truth. We judge and make a truth that excludes other truths. Art plays a formative part in this manufacture of truth.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Painting is traditional but for me that doesn't mean the academy. I felt a need to paint; I love painting. It was something natural - as is listening to music or playing an instrument for some people. For this reason I searched for themes of my era and my generation. Photography offered this, so I chose it as a medium for painting.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I've never found anything to be lacking in a blurry canvas. Quite the contrary: you can see many more things in it than in a sharply focused image. A landscape painted with exactness forces you to see a determined number of clearly differentiated trees, while in a blurry canvas you can perceive as many trees as you want. The painting is more open.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I would like to try to understand what is. We know very little, and I am trying to do it by creating analogies. Almost every work of art is an analogy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings. (Because style is violent, and I am not violent.)

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

The desire to please is maligned, unfairly. There are many sides to it. First of all, pictures have to arouse interest before people will even look at them, and then they have to show something that holds that interst - and naturally they have to be presentable, just as a song has to be sung well, otherwise people run away. One mustn't underrate this quality, and I have always been delighted when my pieces have also appealed to the museum guards, the laymen.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I see the bomber pictures as an anti-war statement... which they aren't - at all. Pictures like that don't do anything to combat war. They only show one tiny aspect of the subject of war - maybe only my own childish feelings of fear and fascination with war and with weapons of that kind.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I remember that I felt I had to avoid all these sensational photos, the hanged woman, the man who shot himself, and so forth. I collected a great deal of material, including a number of banal, irrelevant photos, and then in the course of my work I came back to the very pictures I had actually wanted to avoid, which summed up the various stories.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Illusion - or rather appearance, semblance - is the theme of my life (could be theme of speech welcoming freshmen to the Academy). All that is, seems, and is visible to us because we perceive it by the reflected light of semblance. Nothing else is visible.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Painting is my profession, because it has always been the thing that interested me most. I'm of a certain age, I come from a different tradition and, in any case, I can't do anything else. I'm still very sure that painting is one of the most basic human capacities, like dancing and singing, that make sense, that stay with us, as something human.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Art is the ideal medium for making contact with the transcendental, or at least for getting close to it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Art is always to a large extent about need, despair and hopelessness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Gerhard Richter

These pictures possibly give rise to questions of political content or historical truth. Neither interests me in this instance. And although even my motivation for painting them is probably of no significance, I am trying to put a name to it here, as an articulation, parallel to the pictures, as it were, of my disquiet and of my opinion.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Based on mixtures of the three primary colours, along with black and white, I come up with a certain number of possible colours and, by multiplying these by two or four, I obtain a definite number of colour fields that I multiply yet again by two, etc. But the complete realization of this project demands a great deal of time and work.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Art is the highest form of hope.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I never worked at painting as if it were a job; it was always out of interest or for fun, a desire to try something.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

A lot of different things had to come together over the years, accumulated experiences of a general and personal nature, before the idea and the decision were developed and then carried out.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Architecture was, or is, a kind of hobby, an inclination I have to fiddling around and building things. Putting up shelves or cupboards, or making tools, or designing houses ... it always has a functional or social motivation. If social changes are in the air, I am gripped immediately by the desire to build, and I think that I accelerate or anticipate changes in my life by doing so, at least in draft. In the case of my house, that was anticipation: in other words, first build, then change one's life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Gerhard Richter

When I first painted a number of canvases grey all over (about eight years ago), I did so because I did not know what to paint, or what there might be to paint: so wretched a start could lead to nothing meaningful. As time went on, however, I observed differences of quality among the grey surfaces - and also that these betrayed nothing of the destructive motivation that lay behind them. The pictures began to teach me. By generalizing a personal dilemma, they resolved it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

It was not possible for us to produce the same optimism and the same kind of humour or irony. Actually, it was not irony. Lichtenstein is not ironic but he does have a special kind of humour. That's how I could describe it: humour and optimism. For Polke and me, everything was more fragmented. But how it was broken up is hard to describe.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

If the abstract paintings show my reality, then the landscapes and still-lifes show my yearning.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Form is all we have to help us cope with fundamentally chaotic facts and assaults. Formulating something is a great start. I trust form, trust my feeling or capacity to find the right form for something. Even if that is only by being well organized. That too is form.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

But it is also untrue that I have nothing specific in mind. As with my landscapes: I see countless landscapes, photograph barely 1 in 100,000, and paint barely 1 in 100 of those that I photograph. I am therefore seeking something quite specific; from this I conclude that I know what I want.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Of course, pictures of objects also have this transcendental side to them. Every object, being part of an ultimately incomprehensible world, also embodies that world; when represented in a picture, the object conveys this mystery all the more powerfully, the less of a 'function' the picture has. Hence, for instance, the growing fascination of many beautiful old portraits.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I find the Romantic period extraordinarily interesting. My landscapes have connections with Romanticism: at times I feel a real desire for, an attraction to, this period, and some of my pictures are a homage to Caspar David Friedrich.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I originally came from Dresden, where Socialist Realism prevailed. Konrad Lueg and I came up with it, for the most part ironically, since I now live in capitalism. It was certainly 'realism', but in another form - the capitalist form, as it were. It wasn't meant that seriously. It was more a slogan for that particular Happening at a furniture store.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

My pictures are devoid of objects; like objects, they are themselves objects. This means that they are devoid of content, significance or meaning, like objects or trees, animals, people or days, all of which are there without a reason, without a function and without a purpose. This is the quality that counts. Even so, there are good and bad pictures.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Gerhard Richter

Photography has almost no reality; it is almost a hundred per cent picture. And painting always has reality: you can touch the paint; it has presence; but it always yields a picture - no matter whether good or bad. That's all the theory. It's no good. I once took some small photographs and then smeared them with paint. That partly resolved the problem, and it's really good - better than anything I could ever say on the subject.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Gerhard Richter

The urge to break with a tradition is only appropriate when you're dealing with an outdated, troublesome tradition: I never really thought about that because I take the old-fashioned approach of equating tradition with value (which may be a failing). But whatever the case, positive tradition can also provoke opposition if it's too powerful, too overwhelming, too demanding. That would basically be about the human side of wanting to hold your own.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Gerhard Richter

I started doing 'figures', then, one day, all of a sudden, I started doing abstraction. And then I started doing both. But it was never really a conscious decision. It was simply a question of desire. In fact, I really prefer making figurative work, but the figure is difficult. So to work around the difficulty I take a break and paint abstractly. Which I really like, by the way, because it allows me to make beautiful paintings.