A.hen Gerhard Schröder says for the fourth time that the church window turned out really great – “great art” – Markus Lüpertz adds: “Regardless of the fact that I did it, it’s a great job. I drew it well, and in terms of glass painting it is a wonderful implementation. ”He pats Rainer Schmitt, the boss of Glasstudio Derix (Papal court glass painting since 1908), on the shoulder. This afternoon in Taunusstein, Hesse, where the stained glass window was manufactured in many steps in more than a year, you are pretty satisfied with yourself and your own work.
In addition to the founders, including retired Chancellor Schröder, representatives of the Protestant Church and Lüpertz himself came to the formal acceptance. Only one point, it sticks him in the eye after a few minutes, displeases him: “It has to get darker.” Noted, will be done. It is a monumental work: the two six meter high parts of the church window hang in the workshop. One day, when they are installed at their destination, they will together make a twelve-meter-high window. When exactly, well, difficult to say – the legal dispute over this question has recently been revised. The stepson of the architect of the Marktkirche in Hanover, which was rebuilt in 1952, thinks that Lüpertz’s stained glass window does not match the ambience of the simple church interior and complained against it. Some parishioners also disliked the design.
So what is there to see? At first Lüpertz defends himself (“Everyone should think for themselves”), then he willingly provides a description of the picture: “Up there, the beautiful woman, that is death who stretches out his arms”, underneath in the fire “that is the Beelzebub” . Then there are five big blowflies circling over and around Reformer Martin Luther and causing irritation. The superintendent of the Hannoveraner Stadtkirchenverband, Rainer Müller-Brandes, only mentions the criticism in order to immediately invalidate it. Lüpertz interrupts him: “I don’t understand at all. What did the people see in it? ”He only picked up the flies at which, according to tradition, Luther threw the inkwell when translating the Bible – a response against the devil. Müller-Brandes also finds it anything but “tasteless”, so the accusation that it is much more of a “very aesthetic window”.
Later, when the others were drinking Prosecco and he was drinking red wine, the artist began: It was like Mozart that he created for Salzburg – at first many had resisted the (somewhat misshapen) sculpture, today there would be “protests, if she would get away ”. The protest in Hanover, which flared up again recently, is captured by Müller-Brandes: “Good Protestant: There are different positions, but a democratic decision that we adhere to.” A large majority of the church council voted in favor of the installation.
Some in the community probably also disturbed the commitment of the former chancellor. The accusation: is he building a monument in the shape of a window? Schröder, otherwise not exactly introverted, is quiet most of the time during the acceptance test. When his wife So-yeon Schröder-Kim wants to photograph him alone in front of the design and the window, he keeps saying: “Oh, let it go.” He doesn’t want to make a big fuss. However, many group photos are then taken. When everyone is lined up, Lüpertz mumbles: “This will make the family outing perfect!”
It was a good 15 years ago that he discovered his enthusiasm for light. There is a great risk that the windows will become kitsch because they are so beautiful in themselves. It is important to Lüpertz that everything is manufactured as it was in the Middle Ages: from the glass production to the cutting, the etching of the layers of paint and the contours created by soldering. There is no new art, only new artists. In the old profession he faces “comparison with artists from the 12th or 13th century”. The artisans put the durability in terms of centuries, even a thousand years. Lüpertz nods. All that remains is the trial.
The Hanover Regional Court had decided that freedom of religion and the right to self-determination should be valued higher than the architect’s copyright. “The judges came up with a clever verdict,” says Schröder. The plaintiff, however, appealed on a point of law. Everyone in Taunusstein is convinced that decisions will be made in their favor. When exactly is almost irrelevant. It’s a project for the ages anyway.