VIFF: The Endless Moment - The Painter Rolf Kuhlmann

Rainer Kuhlmann

Rainer Kuhlmann, © Claudia Schmid

01.10.2021 - Article

German realist painter Rolf Kuhlmann is known for his complex, multilayered figures in compositions which evoke the world of dreams. In this remarkable documentary, director Claudia Schmid spends a year following the artist as he visits German forests, and ancient archeological sites and refugee camps in Greece. The Endless Moment documents the extraordinary creation of ambitious, large-scale double triptych paintings—from life studies to tactile three-dimensional objects—as the camera captures moments of conception, rumination, execution, and revision. As a pure devotee of art and nature, we see the painter struggle to incorporate sociopolitical realities of inequality, suffering, and global capitalism in his work.

Like Kuhlmann’s paintings, the film is layered with desire, untold narratives, missteps, and hope. It captures the artist’s eye in the process of looking, and we see how, with a single brushstroke, light descends on the image, bringing it to life. The film is an incredible document of the creative process, as pieces emerge and coalesce to make a brilliant, luminous whole.

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