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Kipphoff, Petra

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 13/09/2007

Richter's window for Cologne Cathedral

Petra Kipphoff was very impressed with the new stained glass window designed by contemporary artist Gerhard Richter for the Cologne Cathedral. "Even when he no longer owns them, he retains control of his paintings to the extent that they are still within his reach. However the cathedral windows are not only forever beyond his control from a material point of view but also because the changing light maintains them in a state of constant change over which he has no influence... Yet precisely this changing light and the location make this window, despite everything, a paradigmatic work of late twentieth century art. Unlike the earlier images, figures and decorative patterns that previously filled the window frames, Richter's illuminated abstract design is not dominated by the lancet and the rose window... Richter has casually ignored the rules governing the design of church windows, and in doing so he has broken with tradition by outshining it. 'Let there be light' (Genesis 1, 1, 3)."

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