Gerhard Richter – Choir Windows for German Abbey Tholey

Submitted by Gustav van Treeck GmbH, Bayerische Hofglasmalerei

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Client: Abbey St. Mauritius, Tholey, Germany

Location: Tholey, Germany

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Artist

Gerhard Richter

Atelier Gerhard Richter

Artistic Director

Katja Zukic

Gustav van Treeck GmbH

Technical Director

Raphaela Knein

Gustav van Treeck GmbH

Architect

Peter Berdi

Peter Berdi Architetcs

Overview

With his designs for Germany’s Abbey Tholey the famous and fabulous Gerhard Richter posed for us several major challenges in terms of design and technical workmanship. We wanted to achieve an optimum of the images in glass. On the basis of our graphic and traditional technical expertise and with the support of digital image processing, we started to master the task before us.

The variety of color and brilliance of the images cannot be realized in glass by simply applying paints. What was required was rather a painstaking process of adapting the template by overlaying hand-blown stained-glass panels and adding colouring where necessary. We specified several colour ranges, which vary from motif to motif. This specification determined the choice of glass types and panels and the glass coloring to be used. The graphic artist employed digital image processing to separate the individual images in an elaborate process, and to create new files for the different technical tools.

In this way, computer technology supported traditional manual craftsmanship and satisfied the needs for precision, symmetry and faithfulness to detail of Richter’s templates.

All pictures © Gustav van Treeck GmbH / Gerhard Richter 2020 (07102020)

Goals

What Gerhard Richter suggested for the monks' choir windows was a major challenge. In his abstract ornaments there were countless colors, figures, grimaces, stains and blobs, accurately arranged symmetrically on a total of 30 motifs 57 fields in three 1.95 x 9.3 m large windows. The goal was to meet the high level design as much as possible in the translation into glass painting art.