The German painter Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in 1932. He spent his childhood and youth in Waltersdorf in the Oberlausitz. He studied painting at the Dresden Art Academy from 1951 to 1956.
As early as 1966 he had made paintings based on colour charts. Although these paintings, like those based on photographs, were still dependent on an existing artefact, all that was left in them was the naked physical presence of colour as the essential material of all painting.
The extreme variety of Richter’s work left him open to criticism, but his rejection of an artificially maintained consistency of style was a conscious conceptual act that allowed him to investigate freely the basic principles of painting