Bach by Gerhard Richter

Much of an abstract painter’s work is done days, months or even years before he or she ever picks us a brush and approaches the canvas. So, in essence, what looks like a seemingly-random placement of color is in fact a culmination of hours upon hours of careful reading, listening, experimenting, arranging, and shifting perspectives to arrive at a perfectly balanced composition. In the case of Gerhard Richter, a German abstractionist, who was recently the subject of an insightful documentary by Corinna Belz “Gerhard Richter – Painting” this creation of a painting is a well-choreographed process that includes applying layers of carefully strained pigment and then adding, subtracting and repositioning them in order to achieve a perfect harmony of all visual elements.

It’s a contemplative process, one that requires the artist to approach, consider and re-consider the work several times, while trying to “hear what it ultimately wants to be.” Every time Richter adds a layer, or shifts its importance he changes the entire balance of the composition, sometimes even changing the entire color scheme of the work in a single approach. These richly layered abstractions brought Gerhard Richter world-wide fame and acknowledgment and made the artist a household name. Through his decades of work, from the unforgettable candle paintings, to the washed-out portraits and now these bold abstractions, Gerhard Richter has made history. Year after year this master of color is sited as the most successful living artist.

Artwork © Gerhard Richter. This article © galleryIntell