Gerhard Richter has been making art ever since 1961, when he left Germany. Throughout his life Richter has resisted painting in any one particular style, this makes it very hard to compare him to any other artist.
Gerhard Richter was one of the first German artists to reflect on the history of National Socialism, creating paintings of family members who had been members, as well as victims of, the Nazi party. Richter has continued to respond to significant moments in history throughout his career; the final room of the exhibition includes September 2005, a painting of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001. This exhibition scans over 50 years of Richter’s life, and coincides with his 80th birthday. ‘Panorama’ takes us from small portraits to giant abstract canvases, and as you move further through the exhibition one will become incredibly aware to focus on the full range of processes and techniques at Richter’s disposal, you can now see why he is often claimed to be ‘the worlds most influential living painter’. Walking through the exhibition it is hard to believe one man painted all the images, many of which occupy opposite ends of the spectrum, yet each image is equally as effective. All though he’s devoted to paint, Richter uses a camera a great deal, painting from photographs more often than not, creating precise photorealistic images, however the next minute you will see a large canvas in the style of an abstract-expressionist, smudging and smearing paint everywhere. The Tate’s exhibition presents an incredible overview of five decades of Richter’s work, with a broad chronological structure much of the exhibition has been orientated to display all his styles. With approximately 150 works on display, ‘Panorama’ is a very interesting exhibition, which through the art gives a true insight to the artist’s upbringing, interests and life.