Born in Dresden in 1932, the painter, sculptor and photographer Gerhard Richter first studied at the Dresden Academy of Arts before fleeing to West Germany in the early 1960s to eventually continue his studies at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Influenced by post-war abstraction, he began working intensively on abstract painting towards the end of the 1960s. Initially, however, he only created portraits and still lives based on photographs which, through their specific image detail and blurring, alienate reality. From the 1970s on he proclaimed the power of chance as an artistic method in his work and applies it in the medium of watercolor painting as well as canvas painting on large and small formats. The layering and the way in which colors are applied play a decisive role here: sharp color contrasts meet fine color gradations and overlays, which challenge one to examine the image structure more closely. From the 1980s on, he then manages to combine the realistic with the abstract dimension by painting over photographs with oil paint.