Early Years


Gerhard Richter was born on 9th February 1932 in Dresden, Germany to Horst and Hildegard Richter; his sister, Gisela,
arrived in 1936. They moved to Reichenau – now Bogtynia in
Poland – in 1935, just before war broke out and his father was conscripted into the German Army.


It was in the years immediately following WWII, at age 15/16,
that Gerhard’s passion for art began; and in 1947 while studying Stenography, accounting and Russian at College in Zittau, Richter attended evening glasses in painting.



105 cm x 95 cm
Catalogue Raisonné: 65

Oil on canvas



150 cm x 180 cm

Catalogue Raisonné: 30

Oil on canvas




From left to right: Richter's grandmother Dora Schönfelder, his sister Gisela, Gretel Weber (a friend of his mother), his mother Hildegard and Richter himself as a boy with his dog Struppi.

As a Young Man


In 1950, he was taken on as an assistant set painted for the municipal theatre in Zittau, though this came to an abrupt end when he was dismissed. Undeterred he applied to study painting
at the Dresden Art Academy; although this first application was rejected, eight months later he reapplied and was accepted in
the summer of 1951.


He moved to Langebruck and lived with his aunt for a while,
but meeting Marianna Eufinger, also known as Ema – who was
to become his first wife in 1957 – helped to convince him to
move into an apartment with friends a few doors away from her.




105 cm x 95 cm
Catalogue Raisonné: 65

Oil on canvas




The Dresden Years


The course was five years long and rigorous, beginning at
8.00am and lasting 8 hours a day involving a very academic timetable that included life drawing, still life and figurative
paintings with oils, as well as art history, Russian, politics
and economics.


The Soviet Authorities in East Germany were becoming more
and more imposing; though with support from his tutor Richter
was able to travel to West Germany and beyond which gave
him access to films, museums and the theatre.


In his final year he started his first major commissions: to paint
a mural for the German Hygiene Museum. Finishing his studies
in 1956 he joined a scheme that meant he got a studio and
salary in return for teaching evening classes, which he did for
the next three years.





of Dresden

The Düsseldorf Years


Growing increasingly uncomfortable with the restrictions
imposed on his work by the Soviet Union and in March 1961
Richter travelled to West Berlin with his wife where they
declared themselves as refugees.


Setting up a new life in Düsseldorf, Richter decided to join
the city’s art academy, Staatlich Kunstakademie Düsseldorf,
in October 1961. His first exhibition was a two person show
with Manfred Kuttner at the 'Junge Kunst Gallery' in Fulda.
It was from here that he started experimenting a lot with
his work; an interest in current affairs, consumer society,
the media and popular culture started to manifest itself within
his work. He also started to explore photography and how it
could be used with painting.


When Richter left the Academy in the summer of 1964 he was already in his stride and ready to begin his career. He continued
to experiment and put on exhibitions from here on out.

Below are a selection of pieces he created from 2005 onwards.



Gerhard Richter


Photograph by

Lothar Wolleh



Paints second Forest series and September.


The Gerhard Richter Archive is established at
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.



4 February-29 May: Gerhard Richter: Image after
Image, Louisiana Museum of Modem Art, Humlebæk.


12 February-16 May: Major retrospective at K20
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf.


Second volume of the catalogue raisonné is produced
in conjunction with the exhibition.


17 November-14 January: shows Silicate paintings
Forest series at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.





197 cm x 132 cm
Catalogue Raisonné: 892-4

Oil on canvas

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from this year

290 cm x 290 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 897-1

Oil on canvas



Paints Cage series, White Paintings and Haggadah.


Richter's second son Theodor is born.



Cage (1)



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from this year



Cologne Cathedral Window is completed.

Enamel on Aludibond series 25 Colours;
paints a portrait of his daughter, Ella.


25 August: Dedication of the Cologne Cathedral
Window. Inspired by his Colour Chart paintings it
consists of around 11,500 mouth-blown glass
squares in seventy-two different colours.

To mark the occasion, Museum Ludwig,
Cologne exhibits Gerhard Richter:
Chance — 4900 Colours and Designs for the
Cologne Cathedral Window.


10 June-21 November: Exhibits Cage paintings
at 52nd Venice Biennale.



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from this year

‘The guiding principle was the representation
of six martyrs, in keeping with the period....
I happened upon a large representation of my painting with 4,096 colours. I put the template for the window design over it and saw that this was the only possibility. I wrote to the master
builder, telling her that I would send her a draft anyway – one that, to me, seemed like the only viable way to design the window.’

               Gerhard Richter




Produces Abstract Paintings.


Makes Sinbad series, using enamel on the
back of glass.


19 January-4 May: Gerhard Richter: Paintings
from Private Collections, Museum Frieder Burda,
Baden-Baden travels to the Royal Scottish Academy,
Edinburgh at the end of the year.


26 January-1 March: Shows September for the
first time at Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris.


February: Opening of the Cage Paintings room
at Tate Modern, London.


23 September-23 November: Gerhard Richter:
4900 Colours, Serpentine Gallery, London.


17 October-18 January 2009: First exhibition
Overpainted Photographs, Museum
Morsbroich, Leverkusen.






60 cm x 50 cm
Catalogue Raisonné:

Oil on canvas

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from this year



Paints Abstract Paintings.


A number of major exhibitions, including:


30 January-3 May: Gerhard Richter:
Retrospective, Albertina, Vienna.


26 February-31 May: Gerhard Richter:
Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London.


27 February-17 May: Gerhard Richter:
Abstract Paintings, Haus der Kunst, Munich.


7 March- 1 June: Richter in France, Musée
de Grenoble.


7 November-9 January: Gerhard Richter:
Abstract Paintings, Marian Goodman Gallery,
New York.





Abstraktes Bild



60 cm x 50 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 908-7

Oil on canvas

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from this year



Continues making enamel-behind-glass paintings.


June: Reopening of the Albertinum in
Dresden including two rooms dedicated
to Richter.






Catalogue Raisonné: 913-8

Lacquer on back of glass





Richter creates his first 'Strip' paintings.


5 February–15 May: Gerhard Richter: Images
of an Era, Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg.


6 October–8 January 2012: Gerhard Richter:
Panorama, Tate Modern, London.





220 cm x 220 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 919-2

Digital print on paper between Alu Dibond and Perspex (Diasec)





12 February–13 May: Gerhard Richter:
Panorama, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin.


6 June–24 September: Gerhard Richter:
Panorama, Centre Georges Pompidou,
Musée national d'art moderne, Paris.







Richter creates new glass sculptures including 
7 Panes (House of Cards) and 12 Panes.


12 March–08 September: Gerhard Richter.
Elbe, November und andere. Eine Präsentation im
Rahmen der Sammlung, Museum Ludwig, Cologne.


14 September–05 January 2014: Gerhard Richter.
Strips and Glass, Galerie Neue Meister, Albertinum,
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden.


23 October–09 February 2014: Gerhard Richter:
Atlas – Mikromega, Kunstbau München, Munich.





259 cm x 180 cm x 51 cm

Werkverzeichnis: 886-2

Glas- und Holzkonstruktion

11 Scheiben

                     11 Panes



18 January–21 April: Gerhard Richter: Strips
and Glass, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur.


18 January–27 July: Gerhard Richter: From Elbe
to November: Works on Paper from the Collection, 
Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur.


15 February–09 March: Gerhard Richter –
Art in the Plural, K20 Grabbeplatz, Kunstsammlung
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf.


18 May–07 September: Gerhard Richter:
Pictures/Series, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen.


25 May–07 September: Gerhard Richter: Grey
& 180 Colours, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach.





Gerahmt: 53 cm
x 105 cm
Editions-WVZ: 148

Digital Fine Art-Druck
auf Papier

Strip (352)

50 cm x 37 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 914-18

Lacquer on glass mounted on Alu Dibond


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from this year

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