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Gagosian Quarterly

Winter 2022 Issue

Hans Ulrich Obrist’sQuestionnaire:Anselm Kiefer

In this ongoing series, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist has devised a set of thirty-seven questions that invite artists, authors, musicians, and other visionaries to address key elements of their lives and creative practices. Respondents make a selection from the larger questionnaire and reply in as many or as few words as they desire. For the fourth installment, we are honored to present the artist Anselm Kiefer.

Anselm Kiefer, Phoenix, 2018–19, stainless steel and lead, 285 ¾ × 261 ¾ × 102 ⅛ inches (725.6 × 664.9 × 259.2 cm) © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Georges Poncet

Anselm Kiefer, Phoenix, 2018–19, stainless steel and lead, 285 ¾ × 261 ¾ × 102 ⅛ inches (725.6 × 664.9 × 259.2 cm) © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Georges Poncet

Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer’s monumental body of work represents a microcosm of collective memory, visually encapsulating a broad range of cultural, literary, and philosophical allusions as well as symbols from religion, mysticism, mythology, history, and poetry.

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Hans Ulrich Obrist

Hans Ulrich Obrist is artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. He was previously the curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show, World Soup (The Kitchen Show), in 1991, he has curated more than three hundred exhibitions. Photo: Tyler Mitchell

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HANS ULRICH OBRISTWhat is harmony?

ANSELM KIEFERI mistrust harmony. Harmony can be the opposite of truth, which according to the coincidentia oppositorum is, in essence, untruth.

HUOWhat is your unrealized project?

AKThe masterpiece.

HUOWhat keeps you coming back to the studio?

AKI never leave it.

HUOWho do you admire most in history?

AKAlexander the Great.

HUOThe future is . . . ?

AKWe all create from memory, without which nothing new can emerge. As Andrea Emo stated, “The new arises out of us, ourselves the future if we can relinquish it.”

Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Questionnaire: Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer, des Malers Atelier (The Painter’s Studio), 2021, emulsion, oil, acrylic, shellac, gold leaf, and chalk on canvas, 129 ⅞ × 224 ⅜ inches (330 × 570 cm) © Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Georges Poncet

HUODo you write poems?

AKNo, but the poems of great poets, some of which I have learned by heart, accompany me, they are in me. For me they are like buoys in the sea—without them I am lost.

HUOWho or what would you have liked to have been?

AKA woman.

HUOWhat was your biggest mistake?

AKTo leave Germany—a mistake that, in the end, was fruitful for me and my work.

HUOWhat music are you listening to?

AKHildegard of Bingen.

HUOWhat is your favorite book?

AKAt the moment, Finnegans Wake.

Anselm Kiefer: Exodus, Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street, New York, November 12–December 23, 2022

Anselm Kiefer: Exodus, Gagosian at the Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles, November 19, 2022– March 25, 2023

Michael Govan and Anselm Kiefer

In Conversation
Anselm Kiefer and Michael Govan

On the occasion of his exhibition Anselm Kiefer: Exodus at Gagosian at Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, the artist spoke with Michael Govan about his works that elaborate on themes of loss, history, and redemption.

Anna Weyant’s Two Eileens (2022) on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Winter 2022

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2022

The Winter 2022 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Anna Weyant’s Two Eileens (2022) on its cover.

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.

Uraeus

Uraeus

Richard Calvocoressi speaks with Anselm Kiefer about the range of mythological and historical symbols in the artist’s sculpture Uraeus.

Anselm Kiefer, Uraeus (2017-18), installation view, Rockefeller Center, New York.

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.

Transition from Cool to Warm

Transition from Cool to Warm

Art historian James Lawrence explores Anselm Kiefer’s latest body of work.

Anselm Kiefer at Copenhagen Contemporary

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.