Happy Birthday Mr. Richter

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“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.” (Gerhard Richter, “Notes 1973″, in The Daily Practice of Painting, p. 78.)

ikono is celebrating artist Gerhard Richter’s 80th birthday by dedicating this month’s “Artist of the Month” on ikonoGermany to him.

Nearly all of Richter’s work demonstrates both illusionistic space that seems natural and the physical activity and material of painting—as mutual interferences. For Richter, reality is the combination of new attempts to understand—to represent; in his case, to paint—the world surrounding us.

In some paintings blurs and smudges are severe enough to disrupt the image; it becomes hard to understand or believe. The subject is nullified. In these paintings, images and symbols (such as landscapes, portraits, and news photos) are rendered fragile illusions, fleeting conceptions in our constant reshaping of the world.

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Gerhard Richter’s Youtube Channel

Photo: © Arno Burgi dpa/lsn