Well known for a prolific and stylistically varied body of work, Richter’s exploration of the entire spectrum of the painting medium stretches between instinctual, abstract process-based work to photo-realistic imagery. As an influential leader in the abstract expressionist movement, Richter's work communicates the actual physical application of materials in tandem with the conceptual idea to relocate the context of the image. These well known abstract works were born out of his incidental process of adding, moving, and subtracting paint in an accumulation of instinctual, reactive movements. Richter’s work continues encompass a variety of styles between figurative, representational and abstraction, geometric color charts, gestures, landscapes, and large-scale photorealist copies of black-and-white photographs. Richter also innovated a blurred effect deemed “photographic impressionism” onto a variety of subject matter from nudes and flowers, to cars, architecture, and scenes from Nazi history.
Born in Dresden, Germany, in 1932, Richter’s first gallery solo show was in 1964 at Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf. His first North American retrospective was in 1998 at the Art Gallery of Ontario and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. In 2002, a 40-year retrospective of Richter's work was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. Richter’s work can be found in the permanent collections of countless museums and public galleries all over the world including the National Portrait Gallery, London, Tate Modern, London, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. The artist lives and works in Cologne, Germany.