Review of the Gerhard Richter interview: In art we find beauty and comfort


Review:

In his latest interview with the Danish museum Lousiana, Gerhard Richter talks about the fascination of coincidence, as in his opinion, almost everything is random – how we came about, where we are born and that we are born in Europe and not in Africa. Richter points out, that we have to deal with all this arbitrariness – it’s our turn to make the best out of it. Summing up the last 60 years, the artist doesn’t believe in the power of art, but he claims that there is a special value of every masterpiece and people find solace and comfort in it. Referring to that, Richter talks about his latest experience in Colmar, where he visited the Isenheimer Altarpiece – a panel, that shows a tragical story, but also gives comfort because of its artistic beauty. He notes, that beauty isn’t very popular today, as everybody demands sensation. It doesn’t look like people need solace and beauty, so the opinion of the artist, they need to consume. In this context he cites Thomas Mann, who wrote about the future of art in his diaries: „Art will change completely. It will shed all of its gravity – and transform into something merry and democratic.“ Contemporary art goes beyond that, it is more than merry.

Gerhard Richter’s patterns are also a result of coincidence. He started with an image and set up a couple of mirrors to multiple the picture and create a pattern. All his patterns are universal and not constructed on the basis of an idealogie or religion as most of the existing ornaments are.

When talking about his homeland, Richter mentions that Germany has to deal with the problems of immigration, that every European country is facing right now. He is skeptical if the society really is able to handle it and opines that Merkel’s welcoming culture is totally false. He claims that it is not true, that we have to welcome everybody. Richter adds, that he only invites his friends to dinner, regardless whether they’re Danish or African America. Summing up his critical statement, he defines Germany as a country, that looks at the present and the future much more than on the past.

Source: Lousiana Channel // https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-HaihDRBO0&t=157s

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