Gerhard Richter




Gerhard Richter (born in Dresden, 1932) is considered one of the most significant and challenging artists of the last quarter-century. His diverse paintings cover a range of artistic genres. At the age of ten he painted from photographs, either clipped from newspapers and other sources or shot by the artist himself.

In Richter's portrayals, one always senses a sense of faith coupled with cruelty. For instance, nature to Richter is at once sublime but indifferent to the human condition. Popular culture transforms people who would otherwise think as individuals into submissive followers. His works furthermore contain a vague darkness and reveal a mistrust of any sort of dogma. However, beauty remains underlying elements. Indeed, Richter sees art as the highest form of hope.

Gerhard Richter grew up during a tumultuous and horrific period in world history, coming of age just after World War II. Undoubtedly, Richter's early experiences—including the teachings and beliefs of his parents and living his first 13 years under the Nazis—impacted his development both artistically and intellectually. Richter's father, a conventional-minded schoolteacher, embraced Nazism and fought for the regime on the Eastern and Western fronts. He died, as did Richter's uncles, during the war. Richter also had a mentally disabled aunt who perished in a Nazi euthanasia program.
This all leading him to later depict subjects as varied as a Nazi uncle, fighter planes, religion, gangs of young German terrorists opposite to nature and his wife and child.