Gerhard Richter Portraits.
By Paul Moorhouse.
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2010. 176 pp., 100 color illustrations, 9¾x13¼".
“Appearance, semblance is the theme of my life.” This statement by Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) suggests the importance of portraiture to his career. One of the greatest artists working today, Richter has been intensively engaged with portraiture since 1962. His portraits invite critical consideration of both portraiture and painting; they include images of specific people—whether sensational subjects of people in the media, icons of the popular imagination, or close friends and relatives. However, all are transformed when Richter puts them onto canvas, for they often become anonymous in the process or become significant simply for being included. Richter’s investigation into how we understand what surrounds us is at the heart of all his work.
In this large-scale book—ideal for Richter’s portraits—Paul Moorhouse offers a major advance in the understanding and appreciation of the renowned artist’s work. With keen insight, Moorhouse studies the portraits in close detail, examining the sophisticated ways in which Richter has challenged and extended the genre of portraiture and revealing the startling range of the artist’s source material.
Featuring never-before-published images, this book clearly eclipses any previous publication on Richter’s portraiture.