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Thursday 05.15.08

« Alberta | Main | Journal of Short Film, Vol. 11 »

Windows on many world views

Photo: © Gerhard Richter, Koln / Dombauarchiv Koln, Matz and Schenk

Recently, Peter Schjeldahl took a fascinating look at two stained glass window projects by Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. Here's the Koln Cathedral's webpage for the Richter project.

Personally, I've always loved stained glass and learned how to execute art deco designs when I was 8 because my Mother was doing the same. Later, I was near contentiously exposed to Frank Lloyd Wright's work and eventually boned up on historical examples like Chartres, La Sainte-Chapelle and Matisse's project in Vence. As for the sacred/secular debate, I don't think it matters much... many Christian artists were pretty heretical while pursuing their work. I also think there is an odd double standard, nobody cares if an architect of a church like Philip Johnson, Moneo or Frank Lloyd Wright were religiously compatible with the congregation's beliefs. I always appreciate it when churches choose to employ top talent, it is a civic responsibility and the poetics of talent producing tolerance are undeniable.

Brian Libby over at Portland Architecture gave a welcome recap of Brad Cloepfil's chat at Jimmy Mak's. Interesting how he appreciated the Pearl District as a decent effort that sets the stage for some possibly superb buildings in the future. Right now the only above average architecture is his W+K headquarters, a couple of galleries and the Holst architects projects of PNCA (with a stellar paintjob by Randy Higgins) and Rivertek. With the 511 building and Holst's Ziba Design HQ's there is a sense that some exiciting work is about to be built. Also, what is Powells gonna do with their remodel/addition? The Portland art scene can always use more interesting exhibition spaces and even the new condo's have interesting lobby installation opportunities.

The Mercury reviewed the Jess show. After the Cornell retrospective at SFMOMA last year and an unrelenting string of lesser shows in Portland I'm gonna have trouble taking in more collage art. Still, this sounds promisingly obsessive. With collage art I remain wary... "more" seldom is MORE, with Cornell being the benchmark for how to do it right. After Rauschenberg's death I'm feeling even more picky, though Anna Fidler is really starting to take off. Come to think of it collage is a lot like making a stained glass window.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 15, 2008 at 11:45 | Comments (0)


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