Volker Bradke, 1966 “16 mm, s/w, 14:32 min.”
Few have done more to revolutionize contemporary painting than Gerhard Richter (born 1932). Amazingly–given the German artist’s fame and influence–his only film remains largely unknown to this day. Made in 1966, Volker Bradke focuses on a young denizen of the Dusseldorf art scene. It was first exhibited that same year along with a painted portrait and photographs (since lost), at the legendary Schmela Gallery in Dusseldorf. A virtually unknown figure outside of his small circle, Bradke was briefly catapulted by this film into the realm of art celebrity, before fading once more into relative obscurity. This publication, which includes a DVD and essay by art historian Hubertus Butin, is the first to present this film, analyzing it in its original cultural context, and situating it within the artist’s oeuvre.