Master Painter & Icon: Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) is a prolific and well-respected painter who has created a diverse body of work throughout his long career as an artist. He has been actively painting for nearly 50 years and his work has included many genres such as still life, portraiture, mixed media and layered abstracts (made with a squeegee the size of a car bumper).  

Betty by Gerhard Richter, 1977, Oil on canvas

Abstract painting by Gerhard Richter, 2000, Oil on Aludibond

Not only is Richter is an important contemporary artist, he is quickly becoming an iconic one comparable to Warhol and Picasso. Yet, one interesting fact is that he has done so without having a signature style of work like his predecessors did. Richter was once quoted saying,

I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings. (Because style is violent, and I am not violent.)” – From Gerhard Richter: Text, Writings, Interviews and Letters, 1961-2007, Thames and Hudson, London, 2009, p. 32

Recently The Wall Street Journal wrote an article naming him the top-selling living artist and it states, “….the waiting list for one of his new works, which can sell for $3 million apiece, is several dozen names long.”

Photo from new Documentary, Gerhard Richter

A new documentary, Gerhard Richter Painting, has recently been released in select theaters.  In the preview available on itunes, his highly meditative & intriguing squeegee technique is revealed. You can watch it here.


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