Buyer’s guide to...Gerhard Richter
Fine Art

Buyer’s guide to…Gerhard Richter

Richter’s paintings have risen in value by 64,076% since 1977 With a major retrospective coming up at New York’s Met Breuer next year (4 March-5 July), plus his Seascapes at the Guggenheim Bilbao (until 9 September), the German artist Gerhard Richter is having another moment. At Art Basel this week, his work is on show at the booths of David Zwirner and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, among others. This is hardly a surprise: Richter is widely regarded as the world’s most important living painter and remains active despite his 87 years, if less prolific than in the past. His body of work, which spans nearly six decades, has evolved over time, as he explores manifold ways of representing the world around him. This varies from the early blurred black-and-white paintings interrogating Germany’s attitudes to its own history, to landscapes, portraits, colour charts and what are probably the best-known and most expensive of his works, large-scale abstracts. These have become ultimate trophy pieces—inoffensive, colourful, easy to live with, and probably an asset class all their own. Indeed, analysis by the team that maintains Richter’s website shows that in 2018, only 14% by value of his works offered at auction were bought […]

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