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Gerhard Richter Quotes



Quotes by Gerhard Richter - (41 quotes)

Gerhard Richter - From the Abstraction category:

Abstract pictures are fictive models, because they make visible a reality that we can neither see nor describe, but whose existence we can postulate. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Art category:

Art is the highest form of hope. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Artists category:

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

Gerhard Richter - From the Beginning category:

So they imply that I do not know what I want to represent, or how to begin; that I have only highly imprecise and invariably false ideas of the motif that I am to make into a picture; and therefore that - motivated as I am solely by ignorance and frivolity - I am in a position to start. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Belief category:

The ability to believe is our outstanding quality, and only art adequately translates it into reality. But when we assuage our need for faith with an ideology we court disaster. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Choices category:

-interview with Sabine Sch├╝tz, 1990...
If I don't know what's coming - that is, if I have no hard-and-fast image, as I have with a photographic original - then arbitrary choice and chance play an important part. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Colour category:

Grey. It makes no statement whatever; it evokes neither feelings nor associations: it is really neither visible nor invisible. Its inconspicuousness gives it the capacity to mediate... It has the capacity that no other colour has, to make 'nothing' visible. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Deception category:

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

Gerhard Richter - From the Desire category:

But photographs, private ones and others, keep appearing that fascinate me so much that I want to paint them. And sometimes the real meaning these images have for me only becomes apparent later. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Desperation category:

Art is always to a large extent about need, despair and hopelessness. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Dissatisfaction category:

I'm never really sure what that word means, but however inaccurately I use it, 'classical' was always my ideal, as long as I can remember, and something of that has always stayed with me, to this day. Of course, there were difficulties, because in comparison to my ideal, I didn't even come close. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Dreams category:

You can compare it to dreams: you have a very specific and individual pictorial language that you either accept or that you can translate rashly and wrongly. Of course, you can ignore dreams, but that would be a shame, because they're useful. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Greatness category:

I don't know what motivated the artist, which means that the paintings have an intrinsic quality. I think Goethe called it the 'essential dimension,' the thing that makes great works of art great. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Imitation category:

In nature everything is always right: the structure is right, the proportions are good, the colours fit the forms. If you imitate that in painting, it becomes false. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Interpretation category:

-conversation with Nicholas Serota, Spring 2011...
I prefer to steer clear of anything aesthetic, so as not to set obstacles in my own way and not to have the problem of people saying, 'Ah, yes, that's how he sees the world, that's his interpretation.' (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Language category:

In truth, factual information - names or dates - have never interested me much. Those things are like an alien language that can interfere with the language of the painting, or even prevent its emergence. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Materials category:

With a brush you have control. The paint goes on the brush and you make the mark. From experience you know exactly what will happen. With the squeegee you lose control. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Meaning category:

A picture... demonstrates the endless multiplicity of aspects; it takes away our certainty, because it deprives a thing of its meaning and its name. It shows us the thing in all the manifold significance and infinite variety that preclude the emergence of any single meaning and view. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Models category:

When we describe a process, or make out an invoice, or photograph a tree, we create models; without them we would know nothing of reality and would be animals. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Nature category:

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, absolutely inhuman. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Painting category:

-conversation with Nicholas Serota, Spring 2011...
When I make a representation of something, this, too, is an analogy to what exists; I make an effort to get a grip on the thing by depicting it. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Painting category:

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

Gerhard Richter - From the Patriotism category:

The reason these paintings are destined for New York is not because I am disappointed about a lack of German interest, but because MoMA asked me, and because I consider it to be the best museum in the world. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Perception category:

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. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Photography category:

-interview with Dorothea Dietrich, 1985...
They are specific places I have discovered here and there when I am on the road to take photos. I go especially to take photos. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Photography category:

When I paint from a photograph, conscious thinking is eliminated. I don't know what I am doing... The photograph has an abstraction of its own, which is not easy to see through. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Photography category:

As far as the surface is concerned - oil on canvas, conventionally applied - my pictures have little to do with the original photograph. They are totally painting... On the other hand, they are so like the photograph that the thing that distinguished the photograph from all other pictures remains intact. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Planning category:

-conversation with Nicholas Serota, 2011...
I alter them much more often than the representational ones. They often turn out completely different to what I'd planned. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Planning category:

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. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Problems category:

The pictures began to teach me. By generalizing a personal dilemma, they resolved it. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Quality category:

-conversation with Nicholas Serota, Spring 2011...
It's that same quality I've been talking about. It's neither contrived, nor surprising and smart, not baffling, not witty, not interesting, not cynical, it can't be planned and it probably can't even be described. It's just good. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Realism category:

I'm trying to paint a picture of what I have seen and what moved me, as well as I can. That's all. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Reality category:

-interview with Anna Tilroe, 1987...
My work has so much to do with reality that I wanted to have a corresponding rightness. That excludes painting in imitation. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Religion category:

But the church is no longer adequate as a means of affording experience of the transcendental, and of making religion real - and so art has been transformed from a means into the sole provider of religion: which means religion itself. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Satisfaction category:

And so a picture emerges that may look quite good for a while, so airy and colourful and new. But that will only last for a day at most, at which point it starts to look cheap and fake. And then the real work begins - changing, eradicating, starting again, and so on, until it's done. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Searching category:

Picturing things, taking a view, is what makes us human; art is making sense and giving shape to that sense. It is like the religious search for God. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Subject category:

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

Gerhard Richter - From the Subject category:

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. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Theory category:

Theory has nothing to do with a work of art. Pictures which are interpretable, and which contain a meaning, are bad pictures. A picture presents itself as the Unmanageable, the Illogical, the Meaningless. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Truth category:

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. (Gerhard Richter)

Gerhard Richter - From the Understanding category:

-conversation with Nicholas Serota, Spring 2011...
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. (Gerhard Richter)