Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden, Germany in 1932. After abandoning school at the age of sixteen, he began to work as an apprentice in publicity and as a theater set painter.
Shortly he returned to his studies at the Art Academy of Dresden. He taught as a temporary professor at the Hochschule fur bildende Kunste in Hamburg with the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and then in 1971 became head professor at the Dusseldorf Art Academy.
In 1983 he moved from Dusseldorf to Cologne where he lives and works today. Richter's retrospective, 40 Years of Painting, opened at MOMA in February 2002 and traveled to Chicago, San Francisco (SFMOMA) and, Washington DC.
He has published numerous catalogs, monographs and books on his artwork as well as, notes on painting. He has been decorated and awarded many times over his painting career and he continues today to paint and exhibit his works.
His art is full of tension between the object-reality of the painting and the reality created by the painting itself, the process and the material. He is famous for his photograph paintings and in particular, the landscapes and his complex abstract works.
Richter's painting develops along a unifying theme that is at the same time expressible in two ways. The images or, ideas and ideals, are static, superficial and unreachable and they need to be brought together through the force of doubt. Secondly, reality is a process of imagination and material creation and revision.
The subject of his painting is the relationship between illusion and the reality created by his paintings. He is one of the most influential and successful contemporary artists.