Heavily influenced by medieval iconography and the intense color found in Byzantine panel paintings, Judith Schaechter’s work defies the current interests in the field of glass, which is typified by abstraction and transparency. Playing on the religious traditions of stained glass as a medium, her subjects explore human frailty and tragedy, yet there is not a specific didactic narrative, which has characterized the intent of stained glass for centuries.
Schaechter (b. 1961, Gainesville, FL) began her artistic career as a painter, receiving a BFA degree from Rhode Island School of Design in 1983. During this time, she was introduced to glassblowing and in a matter of weeks, she realized the expressive potential of the medium. Schaechter turned to stained glass, rejecting contemporary explorations of the material’s form and function. She researched its origins in Europe from the 12th century until the Protestant Reformation, and its resurfacing during the late 19th century Arts and Craft movement.