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German-born artist Richter's oeuvre has consistently been marked by a remarkable heterogeneity of style, palette, and subjects-always defiant of labels or associations with specific schools of painting. Since his 1961 escape from East Germany, portraiture has been a touchstone, often with expanded strategies of visual representation. By the late 1960s, Richter was exploring the relationship between photography and painting with an adumbrated, obscurely indicated style while incorporating the sense of momentary happenstance contained within a snapshot. His blurred imagery is like an elusive, hazy photorealism, loaded with a significance the viewer can't easily name, reminiscent of Robert Capa's Omaha Beach photographs. And it is in his portraits that this method is at its most compelling. Moorhouse, a curator at London's National Portrait Gallery, has written detailed biocritical essays that run through this oversized and heavily illustrated book, placing Richter both in an artistic and a historical context while championing the beauty and inherent iconoclasm of the portraits themselves. Despite having a focus narrower than Robert Storr's 2002 monograph, this title is an excellent supplementary purchase for all large libraries.
—Douglas F. Smith