Modern stained glass art in traditional Gothic surroundings

The French-Polish Association ?Witraze 2000? along with the Dominican Priory has organized an exhibition entitled, ?Lumen, Lumen II; European Contemporary Fine Art Glass and Stained Glass,? in the Dominican Cloister. This is the newest in a series of events initiated by the association in 2000, and a direct follow-up to the ?Lumen, Lumen? exhibition in 2005.The organizers stress that this is a rare opportunity to see modern stained glass in Krakow, which is strongly connected to the glass art from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries ? for example that of Wyspianski or Mehoffer.
World of Glass
The central theme of the exhibition is light (in Latin ?lumen?) and its different aspects ? poetic, mystic, philosophical, metaphysical and aesthetic ? all expressed by how it pervades colored glass. Gathering artists from five European countries ? France, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia ? the event is an excellent opportunity for artists to exchange their creative experiences and show how specific cultures and traditions influence the work in their shared field. The exhibition, however, is not just meant for the ?professional? public. ?We want to familiarize people with the art of stained glass and prove that it?s not as hermetic as it seems,? explains Ewa Grzech, the president of the Witraze 2000 and the organizer of the exhibition. ?It is important that we make information like this available to young people from art schools, architects, art historians and future investors, both from secular and clerical environments.?
Modernism Meets Tradition
?Lumen, Lumen II? provides visitors with the chance to become acquainted with methods of glass working developed in the 20th Century, which helped artists move glass art to a new level. The most important change was the liberation from the lead carcass, which now has more of an artistic rather than structural function.  New methods allow for the creation of thicker, more durable pieces of stained glass that can serve not only as ornaments, but also for the construction of entire walls, both interior and exterior. For example, in a technique called ?dalles de verre,? thick pieces of glass are linked with concrete or synthetic resin. Another technique, called ?fusing,? merges whole layers of material at high temperatures in special kilns instead of connecting pieces of glass. Needless to say, when new methods collide with artists? imaginations, real masterpieces are created. The exhibition is composed of four parts combining traditional and modern glass art. The first part shows restoration work of medieval stained glass. The second part focuses on contemporary stained glass decorations from gothic churches. The third part shows how painters realize their visions using the glass medium. The exhibition concludes with contemporary glass sculptures created by young artists and designers. Another traditional element of the exhibition is its location. A Gothic cloister is a natural environment for such art, so, as Father Zbigniew Krysiewicz of the Dominican Priory says, ?the stained glass somehow returns to the space where it had its birth.? After Krakow the exhibition will be shown in Wroclaw, moving on to Orleans, France in 2008.The Dominican Cloister is on ul. Stolarska 12. Admission is free and the exhibition is open daily from 09:00 to 20:00 until July 29. However, it may be a better idea to attend the show later as final exhibit details are still being completed. The programs (written in Polish, French and English) should be ready by the end of this week.The Dominican Cloister is on ul. Stolarska 12. Admission is free and the exhibition is open daily from 09:00 to 20:00 until July 29. However, it may be a better idea to attend the show later as final exhibit details are still being completed. The programs (written in Polish, French and English) should be ready by the end of this week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.