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Rebelling against the glamor and materialism of Pop Art in the 1960s Gerhard Richter created a powerful body of work rooted in the ordinary, everyday reality of the observed world. This book is the first major survey of Richter's portraits from this era to the present day and represents a major advance in the understanding and appreciation of the artist's work. By examining his portraits in unprecedented detail and scrutinizing the sophisticated ways in which he has challenged and extended the genre of portraiture, the startling range of Richter's source material is fully revealed.In the early 1960s Richter used photographs from magazines, newspapers and his own collection to eschew the abstract, painterly ethos of the preceding generation. His images depicted more recognizable subjects instead: people, family groups, individuals in newspaper stories, animals, buildings and ordinary objects, all rendered in a flat, deliberately impersonal style that alluded to the photographic origins of the imagery. These early monochrome images established a distinctive way of working: Richter's photographically derived images were manipulated to obscure or blur the definition of the original. They seem strangely removed from reality as a result, and pose questions about the nature of photography, identity and the way images of the real world are perceived and understood. As Richter himself has commented, his work engages with 'persistent uncertainty'."Gerhard Richter Portraits" maps out the artist's principal preoccupations and main lines of development via themes that include Private Images (focusing on the artist's use of personal photographs), Public Images (examining images from a range of media-derived sources), Art History (focusing on images of Richter's associations within the art world) and Personal History (in which the artist's preoccupation with his family and his own image take center stage).


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