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Gerhard Richter Painting


Corinna Belz

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Plot Summary

German artist Gerhard Richter has spent over half a century experimenting with a tremendous range of techniques and ideas, addressing historical crises, and mass media representation alongside explorations of chance procedures. Infamously media-shy, he agreed to appear on camera for the first time in 15 years for a 2007 short film by Corinna Belz. Her follow-up, Gerhard Richter Painting, is a thrilling document of Richter's creative process, juxtaposed with intimate conversations (with his critics, his collaborators, and his American gallerist Marian Goodman) and rare archival material. From our fly-on-the-wall perspective, we watch the 79-year-old create a series of large-scale abstract canvases, using fat brushes and a massive squeegee to apply and then scrape off layer after layer of brightly colored paint. This mesmerizing footage of a highly charged process of creation and destruction turns Belz's portrait of an artist into a work of art itself.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 27
  • Fresh: 25
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Each swipe covers the old painting and reveals a new composition. Watching this can be fascinating, even exciting. After all, it prompts a fundamental movie question: What happens next? – Rachel Saltz, New York Times, Mar 13, 2012

Fresh: The film is sketchy as biography, but it proves an aging artist can still crackle with the electricity of youth. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, Mar 29, 2012

Fresh: A mesmerizing look behind the curtain at a magician at work, a man who creates his enchantments not with a deck of cards or puffs of smoke but rather paint, brushes, canvas and a giant squeegee. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Jun 15, 2012

Fresh: Gerhard Richter Painting artfully and convincingly immerses us into the world of one of the greatest, painting. – Aaron Hillis, Village Voice, Mar 13, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Incredible film for art fans

Insightful journey into the world of richter and his artistic process. Well produced. Spellbinding. Incredibly simple yet compelling. Buy it.

Watching paint dry.. literally!

Oh god, what a snoozefest! And I am a fan of Richter (or at least used to be till I watched this drab thing). Early on in the movie Richter says something to the effect that words and painting don’t go together. And it sort of a blessing that this documentary tries to keep words to a minimum (still you get enough to realize why he's a great painter, not a great writer or orator). But what ends up filling the void is a bit-too-literal take on "watching paint dry", or even worse, the adoration! And nothing is as a big of a turn-off for genius as its idolization.
Did it add anything to my faculties? No, just the realization that often learning the trick behind the magic ruins it. And Richter's magic has been ruined for me; thank you very much!

Gerhard Richter Painting
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings