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Gerhard Richter

Described recently in Art Review as the world's most influential and expensive living artist, the German painter Gerhard Richter has been enjoying enormous success across America with a retrospective entitled 40 Years of Painting.

It began at MOMA in New York last March and The South Bank Show caught up with it in San Francisco along with other current exhibitions of Richter's work in the States and with the artist himself.

Born in Dresden in 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, Richter later grew up in communist East Germany, attending the Art Academy in Dresden before escaping to the West just before the Wall went up in Berlin.

Since then he has produced a large diverse body of work from his blurred photo-based paintings to his gigantic abstractions.

This South Bank Show has unique access to the artist at his home in Cologne where he his undergoing a period of quiet reflection and preparation before beginning a new series of paintings.

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