Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1932. Richter was one of the pioneers of the New European Painting movement, which emerged in the second half of the 20th Century.

Gerhard Richter was influenced by many artists including Picasso, Paul Klee and Gustav Klimt; and has painted in many styles during his career producing both abstract and photorealistic paintings (such as Betty). In the 1960s he painted enlarged copies of black-and-white photographs using only a range of greys. In the early 1970s, Richter began examining the visual and textural effects of pure applications of paint to canvas eventually alternating between abstract paintings and naturalistic forms in his work up until the present. He said of his blurring effects (a good example of which is Confus), “I don’t create blurs. Blurring is not the most important thing; nor is it an identity tag for my pictures. When I dissolve demarcations and create transition, this is not in order to destroy the representation, or to make it more artistic or less precise. The flowing transitions, the smooth equalizing surface, clarify the content and make the representation credible (an “alla prima” impasto would be too reminiscent of painting, and would destroy the illusion).”

Richter’s most notable achievements include the installation of his stained glass window in Cologne Cathedral in 2002; in 2013, his 1968 piece Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral square, Milan) was sold for $37.1 million (£24.4 million) in New York and in 2015, Richter became the most expensive living artist when Abstraktes Bild sold for £30.4 at Sotheby’s London.

Richter’s paintings and limited edition prints continue to be highly prized, and posters of his work enduringly popular.

Gerhard Richter