When, in the early 1980s, Richter began to develop an abstract way of painting that avoided overt expression and subjectivity, he chose to paint exclusively in grey. Grey was neutral, grey was neither positive nor negative, grey was perhaps even dull. At various times since then, Richter has returned to using grey when he was attempting something new and did not want the added complications of colour. In the early 2000s, he began to explore ways of looking behind appearances by using scientific principles and discoveries. This painting is part of that group of works.