In fall 2009 Sigmar Polke (1941–2010) completed a series of twelve windows for the Grossmünster cathedral in Zurich, setting new standards for the mutual relationship between art and church. One group of seven Romanesque windows shows luminous ‘mosaics’ of thinly sliced agate, some of it artificially colored, to produce pulsating blocks of back-lit color. 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.
With contributions by Gottfried Boehm, Jacqueline Burckhardt, Bice Curiger, Ulrich Gerster, Regine Helbling, Claude Lambert, Käthi La Roche, Katharina Schmidt, and Marina Warner.