Atlas

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A student researching into my work has actually traced the newspapers and magazines where I found theses images and has found out that many of them illustrate a collection of gruesome stories, murders and suicides which contrast with the images used. There is a contrast between the message carried by the text and that suppressed by the illustration.

Comments on some works, 1991 SOURCE

Gerhard Richter: Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961–2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, p. 260


But my motivation was more a matter of wanting to create order – to keep track of things. All those boxes full of photographs and sketches weigh you down, because they have something unfinished, incomplete, about them. So it's better to present the usable material in an orderly fashion and throw the other stuff away. That's how the Atlas came to be, and I exhibited it a few times.

Interview with Stefan Koldehoff, 1999 SOURCE

Gerhard Richter: Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961–2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, p. 350


The Atlas belongs to the Lenbachhaus in Munich – it's long since ceased to belong to me. Occasionally I run across it somewhere, and I think it's interesting because it looks different each time.

Interview with Stefan Koldehoff, 1999 SOURCE

Gerhard Richter: Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961–2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, p. 350


In the beginning I tried to accommodate everything there that was somewhere between art and garbage and that somehow seemed important to me and a pity to throw away. After a while, some sheets in the Atlas acquired another value, after all – that is, it seemed to me that they could stand on their own terms, not only under the protection of the Atlas.

Interview with Dieter Schwarz, 1999 SOURCE

Gerhard Richter: Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961–2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, p. 332


Flicking through the Atlas one can see that you really have painted less from photographs during the last few years. Have your selection criteria become more rigid?
Maybe that, too, but it's generally related to the fact that I've been taking far more photographs during these years, so I wouldn't even be able to consider painting them all. So the Atlas was also a means of collecting the pictures, like in a diary – a way to sort them, put them away.

Interview with Astrid Kaspar, 2000 SOURCE

Gerhard Richter: Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961–2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, pp. 368/369


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