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Shy genius An artist uncomfortable with his fame

The Beyeler Foundation in Basel is hosting the biggest exhibition ever held in Switzerland devoted to the artist Gerhard Richter. The shy German is described as one of the most important artists of modern times. (SRF Kulturplatz /

Richter was born in Dresden and grew up in communist East Germany. He started painting in 1962 and became one of the pioneers of New European Painting that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century. His work is extremely varied and includes both abstract and figurative paintings as well as photographs.

In 2012, Richter's Abstraktes Bild set an auction record price for a painting by a living artist at CHF 30.3 million ($34m). This was exceeded in 2013 when his 1968 piece Domplatz, Mailand was sold for CHF 33 ($37.1) in New York.

The Basel show brings together for the first time works created as series, cycles and rooms from every period of Richter’s career.
It includes figurative portraits, still lifes and landscapes, and abstract paintings in which the artist has drawn upon a changing repertoire of shapes and colours. The exhibition conveys a comprehensive overview of the spectrum of Richter’s painting.

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