New Work

Paul Kos: Chartres Bleu

November 5, 1987–January 10, 1988

New Work: Paul Kos: Chartres Bleu explores the medieval art of stained glass through the modern medium of video. Replicating a 13th-century stained-glass window in Chartres Cathedral, the work consists of 27 video monitors turned on their vertical axes, aligned 3 across, and stacked 15 feet high. Each monitor displays an image of one of the 27 original leaded panes representing episodes from the early life of Christ. Set in a darkened gallery, Chartres Bleu initially resembles a simple architectural form — a sectioned Gothic arch. As the work’s luminosity increases, the narrative details become first clearer and then gradually more and more abstract as they are engulfed by the intense blue light emanating from the background — the “Chartres bleu” of the title.

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Learn more about the New Work series.

Chartres Bleu is the first presentation in the museum’s New Work series, a program that introduces Bay Area audiences to recent work by both younger and established artists from this region and elsewhere. New Work is generously supported by Collectors Forum. Chartres Bleu, organized in collaboration with Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, is supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and Collectors Forum.