Born in 1932, in what would, post World War II, become East Germany, Gerhard Richter was originally trained in and excelled in the Social Realist style. He had a promising career ahead of him painting for the communist state but he became increasingly dissatisfied with the limitations put on him by Social Realist conventions, as he put it: “The thing that was really unbearable was the hopelessness, the pressure to succumb – how shall I say? – to compromise, to fall in line.” Because he wanted to grow artistically and was drawn to the seemingly boundless experimentation of the abstract and conceptual artists in the west, he defected to West Germany. Richter’s diverse and highly productive career is marked by ceaseless experimentation and diversity and he has consistently challenged the notion that an artist should have a single cohesive style. As a painter, he is relentless in constantly pushing himself to experiment and push past the boundaries of what he knows and he moves between realism and abstraction with seamless ease.