Monday, May 19, 2014

Window gazing

Inspired by MoMA’s Sigmar Polke exhibition we made sure to check out his stained glass windows in the Grossmünster church in Zurich. The windows you usually see reproduced are the cross sections of agates and they are spectacular. Although they seemed audaciously contemporary inevitably we found out later that the technique is an ancient one (#whatthehelldoweknowparttwo). 

Maybe it’s being a long way from home but what came to mind in that grandly austere building were Shane Cotton's windows in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland. They were installed so long ago now (10 years) that many people don’t know about them.  If this is the first you've heard of this commission they are definitely worth a visit. As to Polke's project, the obvious European comparison is the Gerhard Richter windows in Cologne cathedral. How inspiring they were when we first saw them and now post Polke’s rich and idiosyncratic triumph, how chilling they feel.

Images: Left Sigmar Polke window at the Grossmünster church in Zurich and right Shane Cotton in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland