Art Quote for the Day

28 August 1985

The Abstract Expressionists were amazed at the pictorial quality of their productions, the wonderful world that opens up when you just paint.  And in the evolution that led to Tachism, the Informel, this irrepressible image-quality – that is, this ability to communicate – showed itself even ( or rather especially) through the radically new, mechanical techniques of picture-production. It was as if these paintings were producing themselves; and the less deliberate the painters were about infusing them with their own content and mental images, the better the paintings became.  But the problem is this: not to generate any old thing with all the rightness ande spontaneity of Nature, but to produce highly specific pictures with highly specific messages  ( were it not for this,  painting would be the simplest thing in the world , since in Nature any old blot is perfectly right and correct.)

Even so , I have to start with the ‘blot’, and not with the new content ( if I could exempt myself from that, I should then have to look for an appropriate way of representing it).  With all the techniques at my command, especially those of elimination, I have to try to compel  something that I cannot visualize – something that goes further and is better and more right than my own pre-existing opinion and intention  – to appear as an existing picture of something.

Gerhard Richter – The Daily Practice of Painting

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