–is undergoing a major overhaul so that it may be the best work I’ve ever produced! –must take care to re-write it perfectly! –means that much to me, a risk-it-all sort of book, an emerging from my usual writing to produce something uniquely me right now! –revealing that “at the center of my being, I have an answer, I know who I am, and I know what I want” –hence the revision, until I get it right, for who I am, and what I want.
Throughout his career, Gerhard Richter has alternated between figuration and abstraction, maintaining his characteristic emotional reserve and consummate skill in both modes. The aesthetic territory that he explored in his Photo Paintings of the mid- and late 1960s tended to the assertively mundane. Most of these canvases reproduce apparently ordinary images. In this context, Woman Descending a Staircase is exceptional, distinguished by the elegance of the subject, the formality and drama of the composition, and even the work’s glossy, silver-blue brushwork. This may be Richter’s most glamorous painting. These qualities encourage speculation about the woman’s identity, which remains unknown. Woman Descending the Staircase is not, however, a celebrity portrait. More typological than individual, the work addresses the way photography and painting create impressions of beauty, elegance, and glamour.