Looking at Gerhard Richter’s paintings, it is hard to imagine, that all of them are created by the same artist. 130 artworks were shown in Kunsthaus Zurich on 1200 sqm, including paintings, mixed media, prints, graphics, video, photography. These artworks, including well-known Richter’s masterpieces, not only open the wide landscape topic but also tell the viewer about the artist’s life at different periods.
One of the most important German contemporary artists, Gerhard Richter was born in 1932 in Dresden. After the Second World War, he developed his interest in art. Being a teenager, once he had received a photo camera as a gift for Christmas from his mother, and the camera shop owner taught him photography. These skills Richter brings through all his artistic life. Inspired by photographs he made in different periods of his life, the artist created his easily recognizable, incredibly realistic blurry paintings. They are performed with such precision, so one cannot believe from a first site that it is not photography.
The exhibition guides the visitor through Richter’s oeuvre from 1957 to 2018 in a very open and, at the same time, comprehensive way. In a separate room, the video of the artist at work is shown, so a visitor is a whiteness of an intimate process of the masterpiece creation.
In 1951, Richter started his studies at Dresden Academy of Arts. “The training I received had a great influence on me”, he says, despite repressions in GDR, limiting the artist’s potential with socialist realism.
In 1961, the artist and his wife Ema defected to East Germany, and during 1961-1964 Richter studies at Düsseldorf Academy of Arts in the class of Karl Otto Götz.
“I was incredibly lucky to find the right friends at the Academy: Sigmar Polke, Konrad Fischer and Palermo”, says Richter. There, at the end of his studies, the artist started to investigate the interplay between photography and painting, which gave a powerful rise to his artistic career.
Abstract paintings, among which are grey melancholic Seascapes, reflect the complicated period of the artist’s life and his breakdown with his wife Ema in the 1970-s. After this period, the new chapter of his life was started, celebrated in bright and colourful abstract paintings.