Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in 1932. From 1951 to 1955 he studied at Dresden’s art academy, the Hochschule für bildende Künste. In 1961 he fled from East Germany and settled in Düsseldorf, where he began his studies at the art academy. In 1962 he started his Atlas, in which he collects all manner of photographs that might serve him as patterns for paintings. Together with Konrad Lueg, Manfred Kuttner and Sigmar Polke, in 1963 Richter founded Capitalist Realism, which turned against established art currents and introduced Pop Art and other innovative styles to Germany. He had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf and the Galerie René Block in Berlin in 1964. In 1970 he travelled with Blinky Palermo to New York, and a year later he became a professor at the Düsseldorf Academy. In 1972 he designed the German Pavilion at the 36th Venice Biennale, and at the 47th Biennale in 1997 he was awarded the Golden Lion. He has taught as a guest professor at universities in Halifax and Frankfurt and has had important exhibitions internationally. In 1983 he moved to Cologne. His oeuvre is distinguished by its rich variety of styles. Richter lives and works in Cologne.