Some critics view the postwar avant-garde as the empty recycling of forms and strategies from the first two decades of the twentieth century. Others view it, more positively, as a new articulation of the specific conditions of cultural production in the postwar period. Benjamin Buchloh, one of the most insightful art critics and theoreticians of recent decades, argues for a dialectical approach to these positions.
The contemporary painter Gerhard Richter (born in 1932) has been heralded both as modernity's last painter and as painting's modern savior, seen to represent both the end of painting and its resurrection. Richter works in a dizzying variety of styles, from abstraction to a German cool pop that combines painterly technique and appropriation; his work includes photo paintings, large abstract canvases, and stained glass windows.