Extended through September 1, 2017
What interests me is the transformation, not the monument. I don’t construct ruins, but I feel ruins are moments when things show themselves. A ruin is not a catastrophe. It is the moment when things can start again.
Gagosian is pleased to present new paintings, artists’s books, and watercolors by Anselm Kiefer.
Employing broad-ranging and erudite literary sources, from the Old and New Testaments to the poetry of Paul Celan, Kiefer’s oeuvre makes palpable the movement and destruction of human life and, at the same time, the persistence of the delicate, lyrical, or divine.
Central to the exhibition are more than forty unique artists’s books, their pages painted with gesso to mimic marble, displayed in an installation of glass vitrines. Erotically charged female nudes and faces emerge from the pages. Artists’s books are an integral part of Kiefer’s oeuvre; over time they have ranged in scale from the intimate to the monumental, and in materials, from lead to dried plant matter. In this selection of books, the sequences of narrative information and visual effect evoke the fragile endurance of the sacred and the spiritual through the female figures on the marbled pages. They are a reminder perhaps of the sculptures of Auguste Rodin, and even of Michelangelo’s belief that his figures were “freed” from the stone with which he worked.
The large array of new watercolors in this exhibition marks a significant return in Kiefer’s work to the elusive and sensuous medium. The exhibition’s title, Transition from Cool to Warm, refers to a celebrated book of watercolors that he produced from 1974 to 1977, in which cool blue marine land and seascapes transform into warm female nudes. Kiefer’s fascination for eidetic process, rather than teleological outcome, is underscored by the alchemical effects he achieves in these new works—aleatory, and as luminescent as the natural forms they evoke.
The watercolors and books are complemented by romantic landscape paintings, in which lakes can be glimpsed through screens of trees or where surfaces of splashed molten lead peel back to reveal the sea or landscape depicted beneath.
Transition from Cool to Warm is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication with essays by Karl Ove Knausgaard and James Lawrence, and an interview with Kiefer by Louisa Buck.
Transition from Cool to Warm
Art historian James Lawrence explores Anselm Kiefer’s latest body of work.
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.
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.
Cast of Characters
James Lawrence explores how contemporary artists have grappled with the subject of the library.
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.
Richard Calvocoressi speaks with Anselm Kiefer about the range of mythological and historical symbols in the artist’s sculpture Uraeus.
Transition from Cool to Warm
Anselm Kiefer: Transition from Cool to Warm is available for online reading from May 31 through July 1 as part of the From the Library series. The catalogue documents the artist’s exhibition at Gagosian New York in 2017. Central to this publication are more than forty watercolors made between 2012 and 2016, marking Kiefer’s return to the medium after forty years. The exhibition also featured over forty unique artist books and nine monumental landscape paintings, which are included in the catalogue. Essays by novelist Karl Ove Knausgård and art historian James Lawrence are included, along with an interview by art journalist Louisa Buck and the artist.
Anselm Kiefer: Transition from Cool to Warm (New York: Gagosian, 2017)
Extended through June 26, 2021
Field of the Cloth of Gold
February 7–June 26, 2021
Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Harmony Korine, Robert Rauschenberg, Julian Schnabel, Rudolf Stingel, Franz West
June 7–July 18, 2014
555 West 24th Street, New York