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National Portrait Gallery

Exhibition Detail
St Martin's Place
London WC2H 0HE
United Kingdom

February 26th, 2009 - May 31st, 2009
Betty , Gerhard RichterGerhard Richter, Betty , 1977
© Gerhard Richter
+44 020 7321 6620
Open daily 10am - 6pm; Late night opening Thursday and Friday until 9pm
portraiture, photography

Gerhard Richter is widely regarded as one of the world's leading contemporary artists. During a career spanning almost fifty years, the astonishing range of his work has become a defining characteristic, with painting at the centre of his development. Within that medium his scope and output have been prodigious and as a result Richter is seen by many as the greatest living painter.

From the outset portraits have been a recurring theme and this landmark exhibition explores this important aspect of Richter's work in unprecedented detail. Covering the period from the 1960s to the present, the exhibition comprises key paintings from international public and private collections, many of which have not previously been shown together.

Early black and white paintings made from magazine photographs such as Mutter und Tochter (B), 1964, and portraits of close members of the artist's family such as Betty, 1977, are complemented by a special installation of Richter's celebrated 48 Portraits, 1971-2. A remarkable recent painting, Ella, 2007, is shown here for the first time.

Collectively, the exhibition illuminates Richter's compelling but unconventional approach to portraiture. By obscuring the identities of the people depicted and questioning the relationships between them, Richter's portraits provide a fascinating insight into the way we view the world.



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