Tholey (dpa) - The artist Gerhard Richter (87) has designed three large stained-glass windows for the Benedictine monastery in Tholey, Saarland. "They came to me as if called. Coincidentally, "Richter said in Cologne in an interview with the German Press Agency.

For when the call came, he had just played with "patterns" - from his artist book "Patterns". "I thought of stained glass windows when I was playing with the patterns. Would be a good way to use these patterns. "

The designs for the choir windows will be presented publicly on Wednesday (4 September) in Tholey. Tholey is - with first documentary mention in the year 634 - oldest monastery in Germany. Richter designed the designs for the monks free of charge. They should go into production these days and be inaugurated in the summer of 2020. The gothic abbey church is being renovated.

At that time Richter said to the abbey: "I'll try it and then try it and make different patterns. Three became correct then, "he said. "They look like oriental patterns." How did they come about? "You have to know the book (patterns): there's an abstract picture. This is duplicated and divided into half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second, and so on. Until there are only abstract lines. And from the abstract lines pictures were later created. »

The colorful pictures were thus created by decomposition and reflection almost "by itself". "The fascinating thing is that you do not do anything about it. I do not invent that while the Orientals had to invent it all. And there it had a meaning. "His pictures for the nearly four-meter-wide and nearly eleven-meter-high windows, on the other hand," have nothing to say ". They are "half abstract, half narrative". And they showed, "We do not have to believe anything and see God in there, that's the way it is." Visitors should simply find them "beautiful".

To God he had "no relation," said Judge, who emerged as a young man from the Protestant church. But he was close to Christianity. "After all, that's my root. That's where I come from. "How he would describe himself? "I am a seeker, as they are all more or less." He does not believe in a life after death: "Dead is dead." But it was "a beautiful idea that mankind invented there: when she dies that she will then go to heaven ».

The church was also a "beautiful invention." She had "just made these wonderful buildings". Such buildings are needed today. "What's a little more serious and brings dignity into life." Richter has previously designed a church window for the Cologne Cathedral. The window in the transept was inaugurated in 2007.

Richter was not yet in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Mauritius in Tholey. Also for the presentation of his designs or the inauguration in 2020, he would "certainly not come." He is currently not doing well health. "That's why I can not travel." He is in the studio and prepares exhibitions, among other things. He does not currently work on new works.

The artist is considered the most important painter in Germany. What is he saying? "Aha." And what does that mean for him? "At the moment it's just fine for me, because I'm not feeling so well, (...) and that's a nice balance when I read that." Art could be "a good consolation".

Gerhard Richter on Patterns

Biography Gerhard Richter

Tholey Monastery

Abbey Tholey