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Anselm Kiefer

Installation view, Anselm Kiefer: For Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen, 2017 Artwork © Anselm Kiefer

Installation view, Anselm Kiefer: For Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen, 2017

Artwork © Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Les extases féminines (The Feminine Ecstasies), 2013 Watercolor on paper, 65 ¾ × 60 ⅝ inches (167 × 154 cm)© Anselm Kiefer, photo by Georges Poncet

Anselm Kiefer, Les extases féminines (The Feminine Ecstasies), 2013

Watercolor on paper, 65 ¾ × 60 ⅝ inches (167 × 154 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer, photo by Georges Poncet

Anselm Kiefer, Paul Celan: wir schöpften die Finsternis leer, wir fanden das wort, das den Sommer heraufkam: Blume; (We scooped the darkness empty, we found the word that ascended summer: flower), 2012 Oil, emulsion, acrylic, on photograph on canvas, 110 ¼ × 149 ⅝ inches (280 × 380 cm )© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Paul Celan: wir schöpften die Finsternis leer, wir fanden das wort, das den Sommer heraufkam: Blume; (We scooped the darkness empty, we found the word that ascended summer: flower), 2012

Oil, emulsion, acrylic, on photograph on canvas, 110 ¼ × 149 ⅝ inches (280 × 380 cm )
© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Merkaba, 2010 Photograph, acrylic, shellac, ash, cotton dress, burned books, and plaster coated thorn bushes in glass and steel frame, 111 × 120 ⅞ × 13 13/16 inches (282 × 307 × 35 cm)© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Merkaba, 2010

Photograph, acrylic, shellac, ash, cotton dress, burned books, and plaster coated thorn bushes in glass and steel frame, 111 × 120 ⅞ × 13 13/16 inches (282 × 307 × 35 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Untitled (Berenice), 2003 Painted photograph with hair, 50 × 38 inches (127 × 96.5 cm)© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Untitled (Berenice), 2003

Painted photograph with hair, 50 × 38 inches (127 × 96.5 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer

About

Anselm Kiefer's monumental body of work represents a microcosm of collective memory, visually encapsulating a broad range of cultural, literary, and philosophical allusions—from the Old and New Testaments, Kabbalah mysticism, Norse mythology and Wagner’s Ring Cycle to the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan.

Born during the closing months of World War II, Kiefer reflects upon Germany’s post-war identity and history, grappling with the national mythology of the Third Reich. Fusing art and literature, painting and sculpture, Kiefer engages the complex events of history and the ancestral epics of life, death, and the cosmos. His boundless repertoire of imagery is paralleled only by the breadth of media palpable in his work.

Kiefer’s oeuvre encompasses paintings, vitrines, installations, artist books, and an array of works on paper such as drawings, watercolors, collages, and altered photographs. The physical elements of his practice—from lead, concrete, and glass to textiles, tree roots, and burned books—are as symbolically resonant as they are vast-ranging. By integrating, expanding, and regenerating imagery and techniques, he brings to light the importance of the sacred and spiritual, myth and memory.

Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945 in Donaueschingen, Germany. After studying law and Romance languages, he attended the School of Fine Arts at Freiburg im Breisgau and the Art Academy in Karlsruhe while maintaining a contact with Joseph Beuys.

Kiefer’s work has been shown and collected by major museums worldwide, including the following: “Bilder und Bücher,” Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (1978); “Verbrennen, verholzen, versenken, versanden,” West German Pavilion, 39th Biennale di Venezia, Italy (1980); “Margarete—Sulamith,” Museum Folkwang, Germany (1981); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany (1984, traveled to ARC Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; and Israel Museum, Jerusalem); “Peintures 1983–1984,” Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (1984); and Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois (1987, traveled to Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Modern Art, New York, through 1989).

Further museum exhibitions include “Bücher 1969–1990,” Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany (1990, traveled to Kunstverein München, Germany; and Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland, through 1991); Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Germany (1991); “Melancholia,” Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo (1993, traveled to Kyoto National Museum of Art, Japan; and Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan); “Himmel-Erde,” Museo Correr, Venice (1997); and “El viento, el tiempo, el silencio,” Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1998).

In recent years, Anselm Kiefer’s solo exhibitions have included Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain (2000); “Maleri 1998–2000,” Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebkæk, Denmark (2001); “Die sieben Himmelspaläste,“ Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2001); “I sette palazzi celesti,” Fondazione Pirelli, Milan (2004); “Heaven and Earth,” Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2005, traveled to Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Québec; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California, through 2007); Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain (2007); “Sternenfall / Chute d’étoiles,” Monumenta, Grand Palais, Paris (2007); “Anselm Kiefer au Louvre,” Musée du Louvre, Paris (2007); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebkæk, Denmark (2010); “Shevirat Hakelim,” Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2011); “Beyond Landscape,” Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (2013); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2014); “l’alchimie du livre,” Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris (2015); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2015); “Kiefer Rodin,” Musée Rodin, Paris (2017, traveled to the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, through 2018); “For Velimir Khlebnikov — Fates of Nations,” State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (2017); and “Provocations,” The Met Breuer, New York (2017).

Anselm Kiefer

Photo: Peter Rigaud c/o Shotview Syndication

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris, 2019

Visit

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées

Opening reception: Saturday, October 12, 6:30–8pm
October 12–20, 2019
Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris
galerieslafayettechampselysees.com

In celebration of FIAC in Paris, Gagosian is pleased to collaborate with Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées on a two-floor pop-up takeover featuring products related to Gagosian artists. On the first floor, the Coin Culture section will feature catalogues, posters, apparel, and audio productions. The second floor, the Library, will house an additional selection of limited-edition books, publications, and catalogues raisonnés.

Download the full press release in English (PDF) or French (PDF)

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris, 2019

Anselm Kiefer, Uraeus, 2017–18 (detail) © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Georges Poncet

Public Installation

Anselm Kiefer
Uraeus

May 2–July 22, 2018
Rockefeller Center, New York
www.publicartfund.org

Uraeus is Anselm Kiefer’s first US site-specific public sculpture. Commissioned by Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer, and presented by Gagosian, the work consists of a gigantic open book with eagle’s wings 30 feet in span, both made of lead, on top of a 20-foot-tall lead-clad stainless steel column. Clustered around the base are further outsize lead books, while a large snake coils up the column. Lead is one of the artist’s preferred materials owing to its soft, fluid properties traditionally associated with alchemical transformation, especially its second stage: dissolution.

Anselm Kiefer, Uraeus, 2017–18 (detail) © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Georges Poncet

Anselm Kiefer, Uraeus, 2017–18 (detail) © Anselm Kiefer

Artist Talk

Anselm Kiefer

Monday, April 30, 2018, 6:30–8pm
New School, New York
www.publicartfund.org

Anselm Kiefer will speak with Richard Calvocoressi about his new work and past public art projects on the occasion of his new public installation Uraeus at Rockefeller Center, New York, on view May 2–July 22, 2018. To attend the event, purchase tickets at newschool.edu

Anselm Kiefer, Uraeus, 2017–18 (detail) © Anselm Kiefer

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Museum Exhibitions

Installation view, Anselm Kiefer à La Tourette, Couvent de La Tourette, Éveux, France, September 24–December 22, 2019. Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Jean-Philipe Simard

On View

Anselm Kiefer à La Tourette

Through December 22, 2019
Couvent de La Tourette, Éveux, France
www.couventdelatourette.fr

In 1966 Anselm Kiefer spent three weeks at La Tourette, the monastery designed by Le Corbusier, where he was inspired by the materiality of the architecture. This exhibition aims to place Kiefer’s work in dialogue with this special place and includes installations, paintings, sculptures, and vitrines with the artist’s books.

Installation view, Anselm Kiefer à La Tourette, Couvent de La Tourette, Éveux, France, September 24–December 22, 2019. Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Jean-Philipe Simard

Anselm Kiefer, Wege, 1977–80 © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Charles Duprat

On View

Die jungen Jahre der Alten Meister
Baselitz–Richter–Polke–Kiefer

Through January 5, 2020
Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany
www.deichtorhallen.de

This exhibition, whose title translates to The Early Years of the Old Masters, explores the early works of Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter.

Anselm Kiefer, Wege, 1977–80 © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Charles Duprat

Rachel Whiteread, Pink, 1993 © Rachel Whiteread

On View

Pushing Paper
Contemporary Drawing from 1970 to Now

Through January 12, 2020
British Museum, London
britishmuseum.org

Celebrating drawing in its own right, rather than its historic role as preparatory to painting, this exhibition explores how contemporary artists have used drawing to examine themes including identity, place, and memory. Work by Glenn Brown, Ellen Gallagher, Anselm Kiefer, and Rachel Whiteread is included.

Rachel Whiteread, Pink, 1993 © Rachel Whiteread

Anselm Kiefer, Barren Landscape, 1987–89 © Anselm Kiefer

Closed

Anselm Kiefer
Bøker og tresnitt

May 29–September 14, 2019
Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo
www.afmuseet.no

This exhibition aims to point out the various connections Anselm Kiefer has with poetry, myths, history, philosophy, and alchemy, through a collection of artist’s books dating from the years 1969 to 2017, along with a selection of his woodcuts, the most recent of which are being shown for the first time. This exhibition has traveled from the Fondation Jan Michalski in Montricher, Switzerland.

Anselm Kiefer, Barren Landscape, 1987–89 © Anselm Kiefer

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Press

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