德国艺术家杰哈德·里希特以其抽象及照相写实主义作品而著称。六十年来,他在艺术作品中持续探索现实和表象之间的对话。

1932年,里希特出生于德国德累斯顿,后于当地艺术学院就读。还在求学的他为德国卫生博物馆完成了早期壁画作品《生活的乐趣》(1956年作)。1961年逃离东德后,里希特入读杜塞尔多夫艺术学院,并在那里结交了西格玛尔‧波尔克、康拉德·卢埃格,及布林其·帕勒莫等艺术家好友。

里希特正式开始的创作生涯始于一系列以照片为蓝本的作品。多年来,他搜集了大量图片档案,并将其称为《地图集》(Atlas)。他的许多作品着眼于德国的伤痕过往,包括他绘画姨妈玛丽安、叔叔卢迪及巴德尔-迈因霍夫团伙的肖像。此外,他笔下的海洋、云彩、风景、蜡烛和骷髅亦体现出他对艺术史的回顾。里希特亦创作亲密温情的画作,包括1988年为女儿贝蒂所作的肖像画。他以无懈可击的照相现实主义手法重现图片档案中的模糊与不完美之处,并藉此揭示所有表象形式都在一定程度上包含幻觉。他认为无论是摄影还是绘画,都无法完全代表现实。

与此同时,里希特亦开始探索抽象绘画,首批实验作品包括《色表》、《Inpainting》扭抹画,及灰阶单色画等系列画作。1980年代初,他发现“刮除”(Squeegee)这种全新画法,颠覆了自己的创作历程。他在多层颜料尚未干透时以刮板擦拭,让画面显现出如大理石一般的纹路和色彩,令人心醉神迷。熟悉的元素在画面深处闪耀微光。1990年代初,里希特已经熟练掌握了这一创作技巧。此时期的《抽象画》在拍场上屡破纪录。其他作品亦反映出他对音乐的兴趣,包括其知名的《巴赫》及《凯奇》系列画作。

里希特在创作生涯中探索多种媒材,包括版画、素描、油彩涂抹的相片、彩色墨水及挂毯等。《辛巴达》等系列作品在玻璃背面作画,而《条纹》系列作品则采用数码科技创作。时至今日,里希特的创作历程依然是二十世纪最有前瞻性的艺术探索之一。

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Kleine Treppe am Meer [Small Staircase at the Seaside]