Richter studied at the Hochschule der Künste but was prohibited to continue his artistic curriculum for having exhibited unauthorised in the Berlin Secession. As a spin-off of it, he co-founded in 1910 the group Neue Secession. With some fellow artists, he founded a new group the November Group in 1918. During these years he worked on many woodcuts and collaborated with journals such as Der Sturm and Die Aktion. In 1919 he signed the Manifesto for the Arbeitsrat für Kunst. In his career he worked also as a set designer for many films from The Confession of the Green Mask in 1916 to Passion in 1940.