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Anselm Kiefer

Morgenthau Plan

May 3–June 8, 2013
West 21st Street, New York

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Installation video

Installation view Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Anselm Kiefer, Morgenthau Plan, 2012 Acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas, 149 ⅝ × 149 ⅝ inches (380 × 380 cm)© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Morgenthau Plan, 2012

Acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas, 149 ⅝ × 149 ⅝ inches (380 × 380 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, der Morgenthau-Plan, 2012 Acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas, 74 ¾ × 149 ⅝ inches (190 × 380 cm)© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, der Morgenthau-Plan, 2012

Acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas, 74 ¾ × 149 ⅝ inches (190 × 380 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Morgenthau Plan, 2012 Acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas, 113 × 149 ⅝ inches (287 × 380 cm)© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Morgenthau Plan, 2012

Acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas, 113 × 149 ⅝ inches (287 × 380 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, der Morgenthau-Plan, 2012 Acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas, 110 ¼ × 149 ⅝ inches (280 × 380 cm)© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, der Morgenthau-Plan, 2012

Acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas, 110 ¼ × 149 ⅝ inches (280 × 380 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Nigredo—Morgenthau, 2012 Emulsion and acrylic on photograph on canvas, 75 × 149 ¾ inches (190 × 380 cm)© Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, Nigredo—Morgenthau, 2012

Emulsion and acrylic on photograph on canvas, 75 × 149 ¾ inches (190 × 380 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer

About

Beauty requires a counterpart. And in thinking about this flaw, the other flaw occurred to me as well: the Morgenthau Plan. For it too ignored the complexity of things.
—Anselm Kiefer

Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings and sculpture by Anselm Kiefer, which further explores the historical and formal concerns of Morgenthau Plan, his exhibition that inaugurated Gagosian Le Bourget in Paris last October.

Born at the close of World War II, Kiefer reflects upon and critiques the dangerous myths that propelled the Third Reich to power. Fusing art and literature, painting and sculpture, the artist engages German history and the ancestral epics of life, death, and the cosmos to reinforce lessons of the past.

The exhibition at Le Bourget and the subsequent body of work on view in New York draw upon the Morgenthau Plan as a metaphor for a common pitfall of the creative process—namely, works that put forth beauty without any other detectable motive. Kiefer presents the initiative as a representation of ideas—artistic and political—that ignore “the complexity of things.”

Proposed in 1944 by United States Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., the plan was conceived to transform postwar Germany into a pre-industrial, agricultural nation in order to limit the country’s ability to wage war. Morgenthau sought to divide Germany into two independent states, annexing or dismantling all German centers of industry. Although the Morgenthau Plan was never realized in its original form, it represented an alternative postwar Germany potentially occupied more by farmland and plant-life than by industry. In his latest paintings, Kiefer explores this rural landscape. Flowers—one of his central leitmotifs—bloom through the devastation.

Read more

Darkly lit road, trees, and building exterior at La Ribaute, Barjac, France.

Anselm Kiefer: Architect of Landscape and Cosmology

Jérôme Sans visits La Ribaute in Barjac, France, the vast studio-estate transformed by Anselm Kiefer over the course of decades. The labyrinthine site, now open to the public, stands as a total work of art, reflecting through its grounds, pavilions, and passageways major themes in Kiefer’s oeuvre: regeneration, mythology, memory, and more. 

Two dress sculptures in the landscape at Barjac

La Ribaute: Transitive, It Transforms

Camille Morineau writes of the triumph of the feminine at Anselm Kiefer’s former studio-estate in Barjac, France, describing the site and its installations as a demonstration of women’s power, a meditation on inversion and permeability, and a reversal of the long invisibility of women in history and myth.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1928. Photo: Lou Andreas-Salomé

Rainer Maria Rilke: Duino Elegies

Bobbie Sheng explores the symbiotic relationship between the poet and visual artists of his time and tracks the enduring influence of his poetry on artists working today.

ERLEND HØYERSTEN

Mythologies: A Conversation with Erlend Høyersten

Gagosian’s Georges Armaos speaks with the director of ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark, about the exhibition Mythologies: The Beginning and End of Civilizations, the art of Anselm Kiefer, and the role of museums during times of crisis.

Anselm Kiefer, Volkszählung (Census), 1991, steel, lead, glass, peas, and photographs, 163 ⅜ × 224 ½ × 315 inches (4.1 × 5.7 × 8 m)/

Cast of Characters

James Lawrence explores how contemporary artists have grappled with the subject of the library.

Anselm Kiefer, Maginot, 1977–93.

Veil and Vault

An exhibition at the Broad in Los Angeles prompts James Lawrence to examine how artists give shape and meaning to the passage of time, and how the passage of time shapes our evolving accounts of art.

News

Photo: Georges Poncet

Artist Spotlight

Anselm Kiefer

June 22–28, 2022

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

Photo: Georges Poncet