Studio Sunday: Gerhard Richter

A still image from the movie Gerhard Richter Painting, of the artist in his studio


Today, let’s look inside the studio of abstract painter Gerhard Richter. Richter has become one of the most important artists in abstraction, and is still actively producing work at the age of 83.


Richter’s studio is large and spacious, with enough wall space to display several of his large canvases, or works in progress. The nature of his current practice requires that the paintings be hung vertically while Richter works on them, drawing long squeegees or wood planks across the surface in order to scrape off a layer of freshly applied colour, exposing layers beneath. The planks he is using on these paintings are visible in the photo. The studio seems fairly stark, but gives Richter plenty of space to stand back and look at his paintings from a good distance. A table in the centre holds big brushes, cans of paint, and scraping tools. It would be lovely to have all your works hung up on the walls of your studio, and move between them as you worked and as the paint dried.


While he is known for his abstract works, Richter likes to challenge the idea that an artist has to have a particular, cohesive “style.” He has also painted photorealistic paintings. His earlier works were something in between – he would paint over a projected photograph before drawing a large brush across the canvas to blur the image just enough. Richter was recently the subject of a feature film which documented his painting practice.  

[image source]

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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