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December 28, 2006

Anselm Kiefer at the SFMOMA

Kiefer_Star_Fall.jpgRebecca and I visted the SFMOMA today, and enjoyed the work of the German artist:

Anselm Kiefer: Heaven and Earth

Friday, October 20, 2006 - Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kiefer's work is dark, full of meaning, and rich with texture. There are dark scorched earth and ocean pieces, sheets of lead into bound into huge books, meteorites as symbols for angels, pieces that contain serpents and the struggle with evil on earth. Some of his work didn't strike me at first, but as I went through the gallery learning more and more from each piece I had to go back through and quickly found more and more appreciation for it all. Pieces like Star Fall stood out, you feel him lying down amongst the stars and do feel as if they are falling down around him. (also reminded me of The Fountain) I really liked Osiris und Isis (150 x 220 inches huge!) The picture doesn't do it any justice, but "According to Egyptian mythology, the god Osiris was murdered and dismembered by his brother Set. All the parts of his body except the penis were then reassembled for burial by his sister- wife Isis, so that he could have eternal life. An immense liturgy of transformation grew from this myth, and Kiefer uses it to connect primal fertility rites to the no less awful mysteries of nuclear technology. The painting is filled by a gigantic step-pyramid, the site of Osiris' burial but also, by implication, a nuclear reactor. Osiris' body parts are ceramic fragments scattered at the base, each wired by bright copper cable to his ka, or soul, at the summit of the mastaba, represented by a circuit board. Death and integration: fission and fusion. Through such metaphors, Kiefer sets forth images charged with warning and suffused with hope."

The Sixth Trumpet is another huge piece that has dark rain...thousands of sunflower seeds falling from the sky as a symbol of hope from the signal(trumpet) that released a cavalry that destroys a third of humankind. "Creation and destruction are on and the same." -Kiefer

view more of his works here @ hirshorn.si.edu

SFMOMA.org has a small taste of his work in this Interactive feature:
Explore 40 years of art by German painter, sculptor, photographer, and bookmaker Anselm Kiefer. This interactive program includes compelling interviews with the artist, as well as dozens of images from Kiefer's career-long meditation on the relationship between heaven and earth. Video interviews with the artist are presented alongside dozens of images of artwork and documentation from the artist's studio.

Born in Germany in 1945, Anselm Kiefer is widely recognized as one of the most significant artists of our time. The first American survey of Kiefer's work in almost 20 years, this exhibition features more than 40 paintings, sculptures, books, and works on paper created between 1969 and the present. The selection emphasizes the layers of meaning in the artist's work, specifically his career-long meditation on the relationship between heaven and earth. Using symbolically potent materials such as clay, lead, ash, and gold leaf to masterful effect, Kiefer embraces a complex array of subjects, including alchemy, mythology, and Jewish mysticism.

Here is another good description of Kiefer's exhibition...

and finally here is a great site with a lot of Kiefer's work on it.


Posted by dschnee at December 28, 2006 3:35 PM