Richter In The ’60s: The Breakthrough Decade

Apr 5, 2013 6:31PM

By Ben Luke

Gerhard Richter describes the momentous arrival of photography into his practice with characteristic understatement. In 1962, the young refugee from East Germany was making an abstract painting informed by Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel. “One day a photograph of Brigitte Bardot fell into my hands, and I painted it into one of these pictures in shades of grey,” he recalled in an interview in 1964. “I had had enough of bloody painting, and painting from a photograph seemed to me the most moronic and inartistic thing that anyone could do.”
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Ben Luke is a regular contributor to several arts publications and is contemporary art critic for the London Evening Standard.