The German painter Gerhard Richter is born in Dresden on February 9, 1932. He spends his childhood and youth in Waltersdorf in the Oberlausitz. He studies painting at the Dresden Art Academy from 1951 to 1956. In 1961, just a few months before the wall is built, Richter leaves the GDR and goes to Düsseldorf where he studies at the Art Academy from 1961 to 1963.
Gerhard Richter gets important stimuli for his own art when attending the "documenta" II in Kassel as early as in 1959, where mostly abstract post-war art is on exhibition. His own early work shows influences of informal art, the Fluxus movement as well as Pop-Art.
Gerhard Richter is friends with Sigmar Polke and Blinky Palermo during his study years in Düsseldorf. Richter, Polke and Konrad Fischer-Lueg organize an art happening called "Leben mit Pop - Eine Demonstration für den Kapitalistischen Realismus" (Life with Pop - A Demonstration for Capitalist Realism)in a Düsseldorf furniture store in 1963. In the frame of this event, Richter presents his "graue Fotobilder" (Grey Photographs) for the first time.
A characteristic feature of Richter's work is the fact that he, up until today, has always taken a deep look into art itself. His works cannot be regarded in categories of "-isms", it is difficult to ascribe them to a certain style, it is rather seen in terms of a stylistic incongruity, thus his oeuvre is extremely complex and diversified.
Gerhard Richter paints his pictures after photographs of any kind, which he then reproduces in manifold ways. They are recognizable, due to the realistic style, but they are also concealed or simply drawn over, so that the motif, its content, is obscured, such as in the series "Vermalungen" (Misdrawings).
The group of works called "Farbtafeln" (Color Plates) is made as of 1966, for which Gerhard Richter sets various colors side by side, after the model of the Natural Color System. Gerhard Richter works on the "Grauen Bildern" (Grey Pictures) from 1967 to 1975. He recurrently turns to single motifs, for instance the "Seestücke" (Sea Pieces), the "Kerzen"-Bilder (Candle Pictures), the "Wolken"-Bilder (Cloud Pictures) or the "Schweizer Alpen" (Swiss Alps). He begins numbering his works consecutively as early as of 1962.
He is chosen as the first single artist to do the German pavilion for the Biennale in Venice in 1972. He does a series of 48 portraits, standardized images after photos of important intellectuals, such as natural scientists, philosophers, poets etc. Richter's works are shown at all "documenta"- exhibitions V to X. Numerous further exhibitions both on an national as well as an international level as well as art awards are proof of Richter being one of the most influential and successful contemporary artists.
Gerhard Richter lives and works in Cologne.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2017 Modern Masters, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami, USA
2016 Birkenau, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany
2015 Gerhard Richter: Painting, Wako Works of Art, Tokyo, Japan
2014 Gerhard Richter: Strips and Glass, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland
2013 Gerhard Richter: Two Sculptures For a Room by Palermo, Tate Modern, Londen, United Kingdom
2012 Gerhard Richter: Panorama at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
2012 Gerhard Richter at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
2011 Panorama at the Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom
2009 Gerhard Richter Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, United Kingdom
2008 4900 Colours: Version II at the Serpetine Galley, London, United Kingdom
2001 An American in Europe: The Photography Collection of Baroness Jeane von Oppenheim, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln (MAKK), Cologne, Germany
2000 Sommerutstillingen 2000: Museum, Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway
1999 Pop Imperssions, Europe/USA: Prints and Multiples from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, New York, USA
1994 The Tradition of the New: Postwar Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Museum Collection Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
1990 Gerhard Richter. Atlas der Fotos, Collagen en Skizzen, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
1990 Gerhard Richter 18. Oktober 1977, Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada.
1980 Gerhard Richter. Zwei Gelbe Striche, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
1970 Gerhard Richter. Graphik 1965-1970, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Born in Dresden on February 9th, 1932