A painting by Gerhard Richter in the exhibition of the Albertinum in Dresden, Germany

Have you ever seen Gerhard Richter painting?

It is phenomenal to watch. He might start one of his large, abstract paintings by carefully applying oil paint to the canvas with a thick brush. Then, he begins to scrape, smear, or add new layers of paint with a large, home-made squeegee. After each change, Richter pauses, takes a step back, and looks at the result: What did just happen with the picture? What composition has come about? Where have interesting parts emerged? What is the next move that might bring the piece one step closer to completion? And which action would be a mistake? There is a lot of intention and carefulness in this process, yet Richter equally respects the results of accident and chance. He lets go of a certain kind of control to let things happen that are surprising and exciting. But at the same time, Richter always exerts enough control to influence the result. He decides what to keep and what to destroy. It is the ultimate creative process: a constant dialogue.



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