“The prerequisites for sainthood are association with two miracles and being dead. German artist Gerhard Richter (b1932, Dresden) is far from dead; he is the world’s most feted living artist, still prolific and innovating. He is credited with the secular miracle of giving painting continued intellectual credibility in the postmodern age. No living artist is more highly valued or venerated.
“Richter is known principally for three groups of work, all postdating his 1961 departure from the GDR: since 1962, paintings of photographs (subject to blurring); grids of colour swatches based on domestic-paint charts; and, after 1987, abstract paintings generated by layering paint using flat-bladed wipers. His classic photo paintings have achieved a degree of acclaim not accorded those by photorealists. Although a painter, his work has been considered conceptual in attitude. His 48 Portraits (1971–2) were painted from encyclopaedia portrait photographs, and he then exhibited photographs of his paintings. He is also seen as an upholder of the figurative tradition. Richter is a contemporary history painter, although he is uncomfortable being so cast…”
Read the full review originally in THE ART BOOK, 19 January 2010 here: