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.
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.
Anselm Kiefer: Uraeus
Taking viewers behind the scenes during the installation of Anselm Kiefer’s Uraeus at Channel Gardens, Rockefeller Center®, New York, this video features interviews with Kiefer, Robin Vousden, Nicholas Baume, and Richard Calvocoressi. The speakers detail the conception, installation, and symbolism of this monumental, public sculpture.
Anselm Kiefer at Copenhagen Contemporary
Tom Lee explores Anselm Kiefer’s exhibition at Copenhagen Contemporary, tracing the literary and alchemical references at work in the installation.
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
May 3–June 8, 2013
West 21st Street, New York
October 19, 2012–January 26, 2013
Next Year in Jerusalem
November 6–December 18, 2010
555 West 24th Street, New York