Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pixel Stained Glass Window

Last year, the historical Cologne Cathedral in Germany finally received a new stained glass window. When the original was blown out from bombings during WWII, it was replaced simply with plain glass - until now.

The design chosen for the new window is modern, beautiful, and geeky! The design by German artist Gerhard Richter is made from 11,500 squares of glass in 72 colors like pixels! The result is quite wonderful.

Spiegel Online International News


Wired August 2007

1 comment:

Erin said...

I popped over to the Spiegel link to get a closer look at the artwork. It's very cool.

Also fascinating to me is the multi-layered aspect of community artworks such as cathedrals. The Cologne Cathedral, for instance, has been around since the 1200's, when it's construction began, so it encompasses an awful lot of art history, political history, church history, and community identity. Cathedrals and churches were meant to be the heart of community life in the medieval era. Though in most of Europe the spiritual belief aspect of cathedral life has waned considerably, it's neat to see community members still taking an interest in the cathedral as a reference point for their identity as a people group. When an ancient cathedral incorporates modern-day artists and craftsmen it strengthens the bonds between Cologne-ians today and Cologne-ians from 800 years ago.

We visited several abbeys and cathedrals with WWII damaged windows while we were in Europe. It was heartbreaking to know that the Gothic art treasures that took decades to construct could be destroyed in the blink of an eye c/o a bombing raid the struck without prejudice to person or place. Also rather haunting to see clear panes of glass in place of its intricately colored forebear.

In some ways, it seems that the clear panes of glass might also serve to identify the local community. Residents can always point to it and say, "That's the damage humans can do to each other's creative spirit. That happened in WWII. We don't want to forget." Perhaps one of the cathedrals out there will decided to keep the clear glass for that very reason.