As I wrote back in November, one of the only remaining details in the recently completed, 20-year restoration of the Eldridge Street Synagogue was perhaps the 1887 buildings most prominent feature: the stained glass window on its facade. The Museum at Eldridge Street, which now occupies the building and oversaw the restoration, commissioned artists Kiki Smith and Deborah Gans to create an original design for the monumental window.
Preliminary sketches for their design (pictured) surfaced last week on Design Boom and, as promised, it’s all blue and Star of David-y, with a kind of swirling field of smaller stars surrounding the central motif. What’s most interesting about the design is how it seems to spill over beyond the edges of the window, effectively becoming more like a mural or trompe l’oeil spanning different media and surfaces as it moves down the synagogues wall. The design is also strikingly subdued compared to Smith’s usual work like, for instance, the fictional autobiographical installation she’s planning for the Brooklyn Museum next month. (Art21 Blog)