UPDATE: Gerhard Richter: The Art Market Is ‘Impossible to Understand and It’s Daft’

Mr. Richter.

Earlier today over in London, Gerhard Richter gave a press conference with Tate head Nicholas Serota on the occasion of the artist’s major show at the Tate Modern. We’ve been unable to find video or any sort of extensive reporting from the conference, but judging by the reactions on Twitter it was a doozy.

Apparently, Mr. Richter’s signature terseness was the least of it:

Uncomfortable moment for Tate boss Serota as Gerhard Richter, sitting alongside, says he’s not sure free admission to museums is good idea
Oct 04 via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

Brilliantly curt Gerhard Richter at his press conference. Cheerful, but three word answers as standard. No. Oh?Ha! Show looks good though
Oct 04 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

The press conference at Tate Modern with Gerhard Richter was the closest thing I’ve experienced to an Andy Warhol interview. Yes ,No, maybe?
Oct 04 via web Favorite Retweet Reply


This isn’t the first time Mr. Richter has given an odd quote. Perhaps you’ll recall his 1986 interview with art history professor Benjamin Buchloh in which he essentially combats all of the scholar’s theories about his work. (Sample Richter quote: “Surely you don’t think that a stupid demonstration of brushwork, or of the rhetoric of painting and its elements, could ever achieve anything, say anything, express any longing?”) When asked by our editor Sarah Douglas about abstraction versus figuration, he mused, “Both show something.”

More on this if any details leak.

Update, 1 p.m.

Some people are probably fiendishly refreshing Gizmodo right now for news about the new iPhone; we, on the other hand, were  too busy refreshing our “Gerhard Richter” alert in Google Reader.

Reuters has written up the press conference, in which the artist went on to say, “[The art market is] impossible to understand and it’s daft.”

Asked where he got his strength from to go on creating, he replied: “I don’t know.” When someone quoted back his own words to him regarding painting being a moral act, he simply said: “Don’t ask me, please.”

Read the whole story here.

UPDATE: Gerhard Richter: The Art Market Is ‘Impossible to Understand and It’s Daft’