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Nov. 2 Art Minute: Judith Schaechter, "Nature"

Art Minute Toledo Museum Toledo Museum of Art Glass Arr
"Nature" by artist Judith Schaechter

This week's Art Minute is Nature by artist Judith Schaechter. 

Judith Schaechter creates lightboxes with detailed yet ambiguous narratives that link past centuries with the present. The field of contemporary stained glass is much better known for abstraction, but Schaechter’s studio practice relies on painstaking draftsmanship and the human figure. Her work gives new meaning to the stained glass genre by creating both spatial and narrative depth through paper-thin layers of glass. While utilizing contemporary iconography, she employs traditional copper foil and soldering techniques that hearken back to the Middle Ages. Her work is characterized by dizzying arrays of texture, obsessive detail, and intense color.

“I am very carefully editing out any references to time and place so that a wide range of people can bring a wide range of meanings to each image,” Schaechter explains. Here, the woman lounging on an oversized Victorian chaise seems both ecstatic and pained by the visual “noise” of nature flourishing not only outside—as seen through the window—but also invading the room in the form of floral wallpaper and a lush bouquet.

Judith Schaechter (American, born 1961), Nature. Stained glass, 2010. Purchased with funds given by Ann W. Hartmann and Frank Snug, 2012.15. On view in the special exhibition The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art.