Immerse yourself in Gerhard Richter’s life of images


These featured videos were recorded during QAGOMA’s exhibition lecture series and opening weekend Symposium. Hear from experts and curators as they highlight aspects of German artist Gerhard Richter’s practice. Visit the ‘The Life of Images’ website to find related events within our ongoing program.

Over more than half a century, Richter has demonstrated a remarkable command of diverse art forms, in particular painting. ‘The Life of Images’ on show at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) until 4 February 2018 is the first major Australian exhibition of works by Richter, who is widely considered one of the world’s most influential living artists.

Gerhard Richter, Germany b.1932 / Strip (927-9) 2012 / Digital print on paper between Alu Dibond and Perspex (Diasec) / 210 x 230cm / Collection: Albertinum | Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden / © Gerhard Richter 2018

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In his career-long exploration of the relationship between painting and photography, Richter reveals the potent currency of the reproduced image. His works encompass realism based on photographs and magazine cuttings, large-scale abstracts produced by dragging layers of paint across the canvas, Romantic landscapes and overpainted photographs. This willingness to experiment marks him as a significant force in the revitalisation of painting in contemporary art.

Richter has responded to traumatic events in history – including World War Two and the horror of the Holocaust – and has invested all manner of images, both public and private, with a deeply personal visual language. ‘The Life of Images’ profiles an artist whose sustained and influential practice has both rejected and embraced tradition, at the same time as confirming painting’s mystery and durability as an art form. View the Gallery’s special events to gain a greater understanding of the artists work.


Richter’s landscapes are often interpreted as evoking 18th and 19th century German Romanticism and the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840). The lens of Romanticism both enables and complicates our understanding of Richter’s landscapes.


Looking at both figurative and abstract aspects of Richter’s images, condiser how Richter makes a sustained and persuasive visual argument for a broader and more meaningful conception of the ‘photographic’ as functioning outside the medium of photography.

Living Archive

Dietmar Elger, Director, Richter Archive, Dresden, Germany, talks about what it is like to work in the archive of one of the world’s most successful and influential living artists.

QAGOMA Symposium

During the opening weekend of ‘The Life of Images’ our Symposium provided a platform for Richter scholars to present new research and lead discussion on the artist’s artistic practice. Presented in partnership with Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and Brisbane Consortium for the Visual Arts.

Subscribe to YouTube to watch behind-the-scenes footage / Read more ABOUT Gerhard Richter on our blog

Feature image: Gerhard Richter’s Strip (927-9) 2012