Gerhard Richter is considered one of the 21st century’s modern masters of painting. He is talented in technical skills, as seen in his photo-realist portraits, but in his later years has worked mainly in abstraction. Either way, his work seems to drift out of the subconscious, as his soft, blurred painting technique evokes a beautiful dreamlike quality.
One of Richter’s specialties was portraits. The two above are of his daughter, Betty.
Richter used this type of “Atlas,” or plan, before painting. Working straight from photographs, he would collect and place them together on sheets as source material for his paintings.
Richter also painted landscapes — clouds, seas, forests, meadows. Unlike traditional landscape paintings, Richter’s border on the abstract. Visually they seem to be the bridge between his photo-realist works and his more removed, abstract paintings.
In his later years, Richter — who had always worked closely with photographs — began to use them directly in his work. Instead of painting from them, he began painting on them. They are a collision of two forces — the real and the abstract of pure color.