Sometimes art is also a political gesture of historical significance. In the case of Rheims Cathedral, the crown jewel of French sacred architecture, this statement can be affirmed without a doubt. Heavily damaged in 1914 by German troops, the cathedral was presented with three new stained glass windows by the painter and installation artist Imi Knoebel (b. 1940 in Dessau), representing a gift from Germany to France.
Knoebel is a “Minimal” artist who, in celebration of the cathedral’s 800th anniversary, illuminated the choir space in 2011 with his six stained glass windows. Since then, he has continued his work in the sacred sphere. He spent three years in an intensive examination of the interiors of the Jeanne D’Arc Chapel. The resulting combinations of luminous colours inside the High Gothic architecture are harmonious and poignant.
This publication sheds light on the process of producing glass façades and documents their creation, from the first sketch to the ultimate installation at Reims Cathedral.
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