<em>Stained glass is dead!! Deader than dead. Long live stained glass! </em> —Judith Schaechter A New Vision for Stained Glass 1983–1994 As a young woman, Schaechter went to the Rhode Island School of Design to become a painter, but instead found her voice in an elective course on stained glass. The unconventional medium, one she found open for innovation and ripe for rebirth, allowed her to upend widely held ideals by uniting the opposing currents of high and low, beauty and the grotesque, sacred and profane, and transcendence and defeat. Her work over the past three and a half decades illuminates her interest in universal religious and mythological symbols and narratives and her deep-seated respect for her art historical ancestors. As a girl, she recalls visiting art museums with her father. Particularly memorable were repeat visits to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she would seek out a Northern Renaissance painting that left her equally terrified and enthralled. Later, the underground comic scene of the 1980s featured in the magazine Raw became a source of inspiration for the artist. Darker, violent themes and crude, Gothic-inspired figures characterized her output during the first decade of her career. This work gained her critical praise and success, leading to her first one-person show in 1995 at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.
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