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Photo Potsdam Exhibition 2018 © ArtFloor 2020-2021
Meet with Gerhard Richter

 Meet the artist ahead of The Met Breuer Exhibition

A Master of Painting

In 1961, just 29 years old, Gerhard Richter escaped East Germany to study art in Düsseldorf. Over the six decades since, his work has spanned a multitude of subjects, styles, and mediums. Here, ahead of The Met’s exhibition Gerhard Richter: Painting After All, see his art and hear from Richter himself through excerpts from interviews and the artist’s notebooks.


When Richter began painting in West Germany the country was still recovering from the aftermath of World War II. As his generation struggled to deal with the past, the question “Why paint?” became an especially provocative one. For Richter, having grown up under an authoritarian regime, the reason to paint was existential: “Art requires freedom … in dictatorships there is no art, not even bad art.”

“The first impulse towards painting, or towards art in general, stems from the need to communicate. … Without this, all work would be pointless and unjustified, like Art for Art’s Sake.”

G.Richter — Notes, 1962


Credits - ©The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY 2020