Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stained Glass 4.0

I grew up going to church twice a week. Those sixty minutes in the pew felt excruciating long for a child, so I would find new ways each week to kill my time. One of my favorite things to look each week were the multi colored stained glass windows that towered from the floor to ceiling. Typically these windows depicted scenes of saints, animals, biblical stories, etc. I have never seen anything like the work of Gerhard Richter or Sigmar Polke in a church before.

Both artists work in Cologne, yet couldn't be anymore different. "Richter, reflective and deliberate, is a family man of temperate tastes and orderly habits. His studio is one of two elegant rectilinear buildings—the other is his house—in a large, walled, lushly gardened compound. Polke, restless and impulsive, is an unreconstructed bohemian, inhabiting cluttered expanses in a shabby industrial building." Despite this, both have been commissioned to stained glass windows for some very prestigious churches.

I love the modern use of shapes and patterns in these design, yet both artists maintain the spirituality and purpose of the stained glass window

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