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Richter has always displayed the importance of the subjects of his paintings, maintaining that he simply chooses amateur photographs that allow him to concentrate on the act of painting appearances. But he is obviously drawn towards certain subjects since he pastes photographs of them in his ‘Atlas’, or personal image bank. Richter painted five portraits of Brigid Polk, the highly idiosyncratic and extrovert member of Andy Warhol’s Factory. These portraits are significant, in that in them Richter began to use colour again, after having used only black, white and grey tones in his previous figurative paintings.

May 2011