10 Questions for Gerhard Richter

Painter Gerhard Richter on his work, escaping from East Germany and why he doesn't collect art

David Johnson for TIME

Your new series of paintings and the book about them, Patterns, depict rows of thin stripes. How did you create them?
I played. My friend bought a painting, and he bought me a good reproduction--a wonderful poster. And it attracted me. I started to play with a mirror. I doubled and shrank and divided and mirrored and divided. It was like a gift which I didn't design. I like it a lot when I get something by chance.

How would you respond to people who say they look like wrapping paper?
They are right. It's...

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