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SIGMAR POLKE

-WINDOWS FOR THE ZURICH GROSSMUNSTER

Gottfried Boehm, Marina Warner and Dr. Katharina Schmidt, Bice Curiger, Ulrich Gerster, Regine Helbling, K├Ąthi La Roche, Urs Rickenbach and Claude Lambert

At the end of 2009 Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) completed a series of twelve windows for the Grossmunster cathedral in Zürich, Switzerland, setting new standards for the mutual relationship between art and church. One group of seven roman windows shows luminous ‘mosaics’ of thinly sliced agate, some of it artificially colored, to produce pulsating blocks of back-lit color.

Posted 15 May 2013

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Sigmar Polke: Windows for the Zurich Grossmunster

At the end of 2009 Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) completed a series of twelve windows for the Grossmunster cathedral in Zürich, Switzerland, setting new standards for the mutual relationship between art and church. One group of seven roman windows shows luminous ‘mosaics’ of thinly sliced agate, some of it artificially colored, to produce pulsating blocks of back-lit color. In the words of Marina Warner: “The interior of rocks opens not only on unexpected colors … on once imprisoned, now scintillating rays and gleams, but it also tunnels into the past, into the distant past of geological and cosmological millennia.” For the remaining five windows, Polke designed images of figures from the Old Testament, based on medieval illuminations, which have themselves undergone transformation in the course of their long journey through time. Polke’s figures now appear as radiantly contemporary icons created in colored glass, using a variety of traditional and customized techniques devised especially for this project.
Quotes:
“The fact is indisputable: Sigmar Polke’s design of the Grossmünster windows ranks among the world’s outstanding dialogues between contemporary art and traditional church architecture.” Gottfried Boehm

These (windows) are never conclusive or unequivocal, and their symbolic potential remains inexhaustible. They lay themselves open to contradictions and conflict, to illusion and wonder, to faith, severity, and healing, to the beauty of the earth and the dignity of living things. These are images one can constantly return to and repeatedly interrogate.” Katharina Schmidt

“The high-carat, exceedingly carefully designed book crowns an already outstanding project. It puts the work in its historic context and simultaneously opens the view to the contemporary. The publication with contributions by renowned authors such as Gottfried Boehm and Katharina Schmidt is an appreciation: multifaceted, in-depth investigating, poetic, and perfectly fitting for this artist’s work.” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich

This wonderful book explains by means of pictures and text how the modern alchemist Sigmar Polke (1941) has designed and executed the windows for the Grossmünster Cathedral.
Released with hard cover by Parkett Publishers in 2010 and written in English and German with 208 pages and many large color photos; ISBN: 3907582276, this is a book that one really must study before viewing the actual windows.
With very interesting texts by Gottfried Boehm, Marina Warner and Dr. Katharina Schmidt, Bice Curiger, Ulrich Gerster, Regine Helbling, Käthi La Roche, Urs Rickenbach and Claude Lambert, the twelve windows are all described.
"Polke is known as the alchemist of art. With hindsight, perhaps the key to his entire oeuvre lies in the fact that he was originally trained as a glass painter. The term ' glass painting ' is misleading, because it is an activity that encompasses the entire production of artistic working and processing glass, or rather painting with coloured light. The Grossmünster underscores the inadequacy of this term, because many of the photos do not follow the conventional way of making leaded glass windows, where the glass paint is applied to the glass, but instead created the images in and out of the glass using a range of old and newly invented techniques. "

30 x 21.5 cm / 11.8 x 8.5”, 208 p., 120 Illustrations, bilingual English/German, Parkett Publishers in collaboration with Grossmünster Zürich, € 48.00 , ISBN 978-3-907582-27-5
Parkett Publishers, Quellenstrasse 27, CH-8031 Zürich, Switzerland, +41 44 271 8140, info@parkettart.com en te bestellen via www.parkettart.com

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