Anselm Kiefer: Für Andrea Emo

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69 avenue Général Leclerc, 93500, Paris, France
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Anselm Kiefer: Für Andrea Emo

Anselm Kiefer: Für Andrea Emo
to Sat 2 Jun 2018

Special event:
Ayumi Paul, Concert in 4 parts. Saturday 21 April, 5pm-6pm & Sunday 22 April, 3pm-4pm

Five years after Anselm Kiefer’s exhibition for the inauguration of our gallery space in Pantin and following his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in 2016, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac presents an exhibition of a new series of works by the artist in Paris.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin Anselm Kiefer 1

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin Anselm Kiefer 2

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin Anselm Kiefer 3

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin Anselm Kiefer 4

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin Anselm Kiefer 5

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin Anselm Kiefer 6

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin Anselm Kiefer 7

The exhibition titled Für Andrea Emo brings together a selection of over 20 mid-size and monumental canvases and four sculptures, which reflect the artist’s long-lasting interest in ideas of destruction and regeneration in an entirely new way. By pouring hot lead on canvases dating from the last two years, Kiefer brings back to life his own art in an iconoclastic gesture. Through this act of recreation, he saves pictures from oblivion while obliterating the original image.

Philosophical and literary references have always been instrumental to understand Kiefer’s practice. In his diary – which will partly be published in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition and gives prime access to the artist’s creative process – Kiefer notes: « This heavy lead bandage that can no longer be detached from the paint skin, these festering sores welling out from the still boiling lead when the pigment beneath it is not bone dry, the little straws on a field that I painted years ago and that appear as charred leavings on the solidified lead – all this reminds me of the Baudelaire poems I reread last year in Portugal. » Anselm Kiefer has worked on his new series of works with an other key figure in mind, Andrea Emo (1901-1983), an Italian philosopher whose nihilist reflections have nurtured his own thoughts: « The deed is the destruction of pictures, their death, their sleep, their burial place, that they require in order to rise again. »

The notion of time as an ongoing cycle underlies Anselm Kiefer’s practice. Here, such concept is visible in the process of creation and in the very matter of the works, which undergo an act of destruction before regenerating. Anselm Kiefer writes in his diary, published in the exhibition catalogue: “yesterday poured lead. on several old paintings you no longer wanted to even look at. unlike before, you laid the paintings on the floor without anger, without despair, and poured the burning hot lead on them. no cause for despair any longer, for you know: at some point something will come of it; indeed, you count on the disappointment from the outset. would the result be any different, would the lead flow any differently if the destructive act were performed in rage and not deliberately?”

If on some paintings the layer of solidified lead lets parts of the original landscape visible, on others it imprisons the pictorial elements rejected by the carbonized surface. The painting then becomes its own sedimentation, a palimpsest. In his diary, Anselm Kiefer notes: “this heavy lead bandage that can no longer be detached from the paint skin, these festering sores welling out from the still boiling lead when the pigment beneath it is not bone dry, the little straws on a field that I painted years ago and that appear as charred leavings on the solidified lead – all this reminds me of the Baudelaire poems I reread last year.”

On the occasion of the exhibition, a catalogue in German and English has been published along with a booklet in French, compiling extracts of Anselm Kiefer’s diary.

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London · Paris · Salzburg Photos: Charles Duprat © Anselm Kiefer
Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London · Paris · Salzburg Photos: Charles Duprat © Anselm Kiefer
 
 

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