"Benjamin KATZ has been photographing Gerhard RICHTER in his studio for 30 years. Gerhard RICHTER is one of the most important contemporary artists. His monumental abstract and photorealistic works are shown in the great museums of the world. The photographs of the photo artist Benjamin KATZ give for the first time insight into Gerhard RICHTER's working method, his artistic and intellectual processes. 80 impressive black and white photos are in this catalog 'Benjamin Katz: Gerhard Richter at Work'.
Gerhard RICHTER looks directly into the camera with widened eyes, a mischievous smile plays around his lips. This photo by Benjamin KATZ dates from the 1980s and is one of the photographer's best-known portraits of Richter. The cartoonish image is right at the beginning of a special collection of photographs documenting Gerhard RICHTER's work over the past 30 years. The photographs are real rarities - some of them have never been published before. Benjamin KATZ compiled the pictures himself and gave them to the Gerhard Richter Archive of the Dresden State Art Collections. The photographs were already on display at the Kunsthalle Bremerhaven on the occasion of Gerhard RICHTER's 80th birthday.
Benjamin KATZ is famous for his portraits of artists: Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard RICHTER let him look over their shoulders at work. Benjamin KATZ is personal friends with most of the artists he photographs. He has had an intimate friendship with Gerhard RICHTER for 30 years. During this time he has repeatedly visited him in his studio and photographed him. He completely renounces flash and spotlight. He meets his artist friends at eye level - as one of them. He is part of the art scene himself and confronts the artists with self-confidence. This is also evident in his paintings. With them, he expresses neither admiration nor contempt for the artist. Rather, he tries to capture the special moment as an attentive observer. He prefers to photograph people in motion, "when they have found a moment of happiness in a relaxed pose," according to the catalog.
In the photo book 'Benjamin Katz: Gerhard Richter at Work', around 80 fascinating b/w photographs and three color photos by Benjamin KATZ provide unique insights into Gerhard RICHTER's artistic work: how he applies color to his large-format paintings, how he smudges or scrapes it off using the so-called squeegee technique, how he views his completed work. On each page there is a picture, so that the viewer's gaze is concentrated on it. Each image speaks for itself, no commentary directs the thoughts. Connoisseurs will discover well-known works by Gerhard RICHTER in the photos with rarity value, such as the designs for the so-called Richter window, which the artist made for Cologne Cathedral.
Texts by art experts such as Wilfried Wiegand, Paul Moorhouse and Stephan von Wiese complement the high-quality illustrations and are written in German, English and French. They describe at what time the photos were taken and which works of Gerhard RICHTER can be recognized on them in their process of creation. 'The passage of time, the traces and scars of time' are the general theme of this large photo block and the artistic work of Benjamin KATZ, writes Stephan von Wiese in the catalog.
In the press
"Benjamin KATZ is such an attentive observer and friend to boot that the complex world of the reclusive judge has probably never been portrayed with such empathy." (© art)