Artist Jan Dibbets received the Sikkens Prize in 1995 for his designs for stained glass windows for the cathedral in Blois and the Sint Gertrudis Church in Wijlre, which, like his free work, concentrates on the controlled balance between form and background – in this case: light.
Stained glass windows
Jan Dibbets was awarded the prize for a different special element in his work: stained glass windows. In these the color and light were direct points of contact for the Sikkens Prize. In the first place, the prize was for his designs for 32 windows in the cathedral of Blois, commissioned by the mayor Jack Lang, formerly the French Minister of Culture, and secondly, for his eight windows in the parish church dedicated to Sint Gertrudis in Wijlre, Limburg. There is no doubt that Jo Eyck, a member of the board of directors of the Sikkens Prize and art collector, was behind this commission. Dibbets had been nominated before, but it was decided to wait until the designs for the windows were completed and the commission was a certainty. This was now the case. According to the board of directors of the Sikkens Foundation: “The artistic experience and formal intelligence of a mature artist resulted in windows of exceptional beauty which can serve as a real inspiration for the timehonoured antique art of stained glass windows”.
The award ceremony
Jan Dibbets was awarded the prize on 13 May in the recently opened Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht. Tracy Metz recorded an interview with Dibbets entitled “Choosing the right colour is just like finding the right word for a poem”, published by the Sikkens Foundation to accompany the prize and designed by Rutger Fuchs.