I just read the article on the German stained artists, in the Times online. It has me concerned. Does anyone feel that any review that speaks poorly of stained glass just makes it harder for all of us to sell it as a contemporary art form? It breaks my heart that the experience that Chartres windows inspire are disconnected from the village, the country, the stone. Why would you expect stained glass to inspire that kind of emotion in a museum, completely out of context? Likely none of us will get to see the exhibit as it was displayed to the public, however it doesn't bode well when esteemed galleries don't get it right. I have contacted the museum and hope to get a copy of the Sarah and Tobias window discussed, so we can see for ourselves. Hope more of you read the article and share your thoughts.
One window is featured on this page:
Another is featured on this page:
There is also a book for the exhibition:
Do you really think that some artsy-fartsy review in an overseas paper "makes it harder for all of us to sell it as a contemporary art form"
Do you really think that the words of Waldemar Januszczak (Not exactly a household word)will havve any effect whatsoever on your ability to sell your work?
I think you overestimate his influence even more than he does.
The internet lives on in ways we will never fully comprehend. People with money are usually well read. They can afford to support galleries and museums, see their names over the door or on the side of the building. I suspect there are quite a few people who would have read the article. Just because this issue occurred across the pond, doesn't mean we shouldn't be paying attention. Affluent people can influence how the rest of us spend our money. A bad review is a bad review. It gives people an easy reason to be dismissive. I don't want stained glass to be rejected out of hand, or out of ignorance. I think stained glass has been left abandoned out of main stream art and that not speaking out says that we don't care.
What exactly do you see in there that besmirches our "art"?
One guy reviews one show. He loves the look of light through glass. He doesn't particularly like the work of a group of artists. So what! I don't like that kind of stained glass either.
Much of what he says is right on the mark - like the fact that some artists have tried to replicate the work of painters, using glass as their canvas - rather than letting the glass tell the story. It's a fact!
Whether it is likeable or not is an opinion. Mr. Januszczak and I happen not to like it. It means that neither he nor I will be buying up those treasures. And that hurts sales how?
I don't particularly like Piccasso. I suspect there are others who would agree with my opinion. That certainly doesn't hurt art sales in general, and certainly doesn't seem to have hurt sales of good old Pablo's work.
How do you feel about seeing an Egyptian Art exhibit at your local museum? A prized artifact, magnificently lit, humidified and secure. It's prominent location, with beautiful cabinets full of supporting items with brief descriptives pointing out material, maker and date, flank the room. But don't touch. Don't run. Don't talk too loud.
So now there's a room, likely a large hall, with no windows for natural light lest it fade the paintings or stain the floor, is a stained glass panel, objectified , reduced to the most neutral, nondescript and flattest possibility of being.
I don't think it was just the artists of the time he didn't like. He had an expectation. An expectation of wanting emotional awe. It didn't happen. It didn't happen in this grand hall, with pretty lights, and the right humidity and all the security, suggesting that this work was valuable. He was not inspired. It was then that he didn't like the work. All these invisible factors having nothing to do with the actual stained glass, had an influence.
That's where I think there is something to learn. Something to talk about. Does all stained glass fail because it doesn't have that emotional awe? Why was there so little mention of these other influences? The stained glass alone, was determined to be at fault. How fair is that? I bet these windows looked great in their original locations, in big drafty castles, damp with mist, the elusive ring of the Chapel bell and the expansive views that required a hike up a mountainside.
I suspect that this exhibit wasn't to show case the stained glass for it's own sake. So it wasn't about the artistry required to create the beauty of a painting with a material that transmits light rather than reflects it, but rather how stained glass artists were trying to imitate the great renaissance masters. I bet the paintings looked great.
Now I'm confused. Are you upset about the show or the review?