I don't create blurs. Blurring is not the most important thing; nor is it an identity tag for my pictures.

— Gerhard Richter

The most genuine Gerhard Richter quotes that will activate your desire to change

Art is the highest form of hope.

51

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.

25

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.

21

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.

20

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.

11

The photograph is the only picture that can truly convey information, even if it is technically faulty and the object can barely be identified. A painting of a murder is of no interest whatever; but a photograph of a murder fascinates everyone.

9

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.

8

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.

7

I want pictorial content without sentiment, but I want it as human as possible

7

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.

7

Art is the pure realization of religious feeling, capacity for faith, longing for God. ... 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.

7

Unlike the photography and prints, I never catalogued, kept track of or exhibited the sketches. I sold some occasionally, but never saw myself as a graphic artist. They became more important to me thanks to the exhibition, however, and I realized that these drawings were quite interesting after all.

7

About Gerhard Richter

Quotes 142 sayings
Profession Visual Artist
Birthday February 9, 1932

I do not mistrust reality, of which I know next to nothing, but I am suspicious regarding the image of reality which our senses convey to us, and which is incomplete and limited. Our eyes have developed such as to survive. It is merely coincidence that we can see stars with them, as well.

7

The smudging makes the paintings a bit more complete.

When they're not blurred, so many details seem wrong, and the whole thing is wrong too. Then smudging can help make the painting invincible, surreal, more enigmatic - that's how easy it is.

7

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.

7

My paintings are wiser than I am.

6

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

6

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.

6

My work has so much to do with reality that I wanted to have a corresponding rightness. That excludes painting in imitation.

6

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.

5

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.

5

Maybe we didn't even have a chance. The message of American Pop Art was so powerful and so optimistic. But it was also very limited, and that led us to believe that we could somehow distance ourselves from it and communicate a different intention.

5

I don't believe in the reality of painting, so I use different styles like clothes: it's a way to disguise myself.

5

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.

5

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.

5

Painting is the making of an analogy for something non-visual and incomprehensible - giving it form and bringing it within reach. And that is why good paintings are incomprehensible. Creating the incomprehensible has absolutely nothing to do with turning out any old bunkum, because bunkum is always comprehensible.

5

How could one be in this world without feeling dismayed by it? Even if one paints flowers and gingerbread.

5

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.

5

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).

5

The Atlas belongs to the Lenbachhaus in Munich - it's long since ceased to belong to me. Occasionally I run across it somewhere, and I think it's interesting because it looks different each time.

5

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, to make visible, in a positively illusionistic way, like a photograph. It has the capacity that no other colour has, to make 'nothing' visible.

5

Experience has proved that there is no difference between a so-called realist painting - of a landscape, for example - and an abstract painting. They both have more or less the same effect on the observer.

4

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.

4

Cage is much more disciplined. He made chance a method and used it in constructive ways; I never did that. Everything here is a little more chaotic.

4

Not the victims of any specific ideology of the left or of the right, but of the ideological posture as such. This has to do with the everlasting human dilemma in general: to work for a revolution and fail.

4

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.

4

Everything has a reason, including the selection of the photos, which was not arbitrary but appropriate to the period, its highs and lows and my sense of them.

4

I believe that the quintessential task of every painter in any time has been to concentrate on the essential.

4

The grey is certainly inspired by the photo-paintings, and, of course, it's related to the fact that I think grey is an important colour - the ideal colour for indifference, fence-sitting, keeping quiet, despair. In other words, for states of being and situations that affect one, and for which one would like to find a visual expression.

4

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

4

I am thankful that the church exists, thankful that it has done such great things, giving us laws, for instance - 'thou shalt' and 'thou shalt not', and established Goodness and Evil. That's what all religions do, and as soon as we try to replace them, worldly religions like fascism and communism take over.

4

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.

3

Painting pictures is simply the official, the daily work, the profession, and in the case of the watercolours I can sooner afford to follow my mood, my spirits.

3

Politicians are nauseating by definition.

.. They can produce nothing, neither a loaf of bread nor a table nor a picture; and this inability to create value, this total inferiority, makes them jealous, vengeful, insolent and a menace to life and limb.

3

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

3

I go to the studio every day, but I dont paint every day.

I love playing with my architectural models. I love making plans. I could spend my life arranging things.

3

There is sorrow, but I hope one can see that it is sorrow for the people who died so young and so crazy, for nothing. I have respect for them, but also for their wishes, or for the power of their wishes. Because they tried to change the stupid things in the world.

3

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.

3

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

3
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