Gerhard Richter

  • Born 1932 in Dresden, Germany

Gerhard Richter’s vast oeuvre, spanning realism and abstraction, reflects personal and collective experiences of rebuilding German cultural identity in the aftermath of World War II. Having studied painting at the Kunstakademie (Art Academy) Dresden from 1951 to 1956, Richter began his artistic career as a muralist in the former GDR. Upon encountering Abstract Expressionism at Documenta, Kassel in 1959, Richter decided to flee to West Germany to pursue his own painterly style. From 1961 to 1964 he studied at the Kunstakademie (Art Academy) Düsseldorf. The decade marked an important period for Richter’s stylistic development, along with his Kunstakademie peers like Sigmar Polke (1941–2010) and Konrad Lueg (1939–1996). The three artists, with Manfred Kuttner (1937–2007), staged the landmark installation “Living with Pop: A Demonstration for Capitalist Realism” in a Düsseldorf storefront in 1963. The next year, Richter held his first solo exhibition at Düsseldorf’s Galerie Schmela. In the 1960s and ‘70s he began depicting blurred imagery, taking inspiration from photographs and media. Since the 1970s, Richter has divided his attention between figuration and abstraction, leading to his squeegee paintings, glass images, vanitas motifs of the 1980s, and recent works utilizing digital printing techniques. Richter’s has received multiple retrospectives, and since 1972, he has participated in five editions each of the Venice Biennale and Documenta, Kassel.

Artworks by Gerhard Richter in the exhibition