Gerhard Richter’s Design for South Transept Window of Cologne Cathedral
During my recent Rhine journey, I saw workers behind a scrim, completing work on a monumental new Gerhard Richter south transept window, replacing one that had been destroyed during World War II. The new window is scheduled to be unveiled to the public on Aug. 25.
According to our tour guide, the window design was subjected to computer analysis, to insure that no “unfavorable [i.e., inappropriate] imagery” could be discerned within its ostensibly abstract patterns. (Can’t you make out that fuzzy Baader-Meinhof group member in the lower left? Just kidding.)
Richter, who lives in Cologne, is said to have based his design on his 1974 Color Chart painting, “4096 Colors,” now on loan from a private collector at Cologne’s Ludwig Museum, where it is one of five works by the artist spaciously displayed in a prominent gallery.
My guide could not provide any cost figures, but Artnet reported last August that “the artist is making a gift of the work, whose production cost, some €350,000, is being covered by donations.” Donation forms are offered near the cathedral’s entrance.
Richter-related links on the cathedral’s website (in German) are here and here.