Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in 1932, growing up in Nazi Germany. In the early 1950s, he trained in Socialist Realist painting at the Kunstakademie in Dresden, before moving to Düsseldorf to study avant-garde art at the Kunstakademie. Alongside contemporaries Polke and Fischer-Leug, Richter founded Capitalist Realism, Fluxus movement, and Happenings.
Borrowing pictures from newspapers or personal family photographs, Richter uses mechanical projection and painting to transform these ‘realities’ into abstractions, speculating on the idea of Truth, and the authority that our culture automatically assigns to the media. The artist’s unusual variety of techniques can involve physically tilting a canvas, dragging the paint across with squeegees, or heavy layerd and scraping. Illustrating ideas of predetermination and chance, each work exists through a combination of deliberate planning, as well as the random effect of outside elements.
He currently lives and works in Cologne, Germany.