Unexpected jubilance

November 2, 2007

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Wow. I just saw the opening ceremony for the new window at our cologne cathedral on tv and really fell in love with it. The light cast by the stained glass mosaik is absolutly sublime. The artist Gerhard Richter used a random generator to create the colors for 11 500 glass squares and their layout on the window and gave his design as a gift to the church. The 370 000 € manufacturing costs were donated by over 1000 people. The original window was destroyed during the second world war, the orignal drawings lost.

There was a lot of controversy about it at first. The church would have preferred a more traditionally figurative subject, for example with representations of saints or 20th century martyrs for this prominent window in germany´s most famous cathedral. I was sceptical at first too, not because i doubted the artistic value of the window, but because i wasn´t sure if it would work in a church where it´s main purpose is to be a symbol of religion and was afraid it might be too decorative to work in the over 1000 year old gothic cathedral.

Seeing it today for the first time i think it works beautifully. The Frankfurt Daily FAZ says the work “bursts into unexpected jubilance” and calls it an “ocean of glass” and they are right. The window talks about light and the brilliancy of life and hope, typified in the colors of the rainbow.

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