Exhibition of four monumental new paintings by Anselm Kiefer opens at Gagosian

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Exhibition of four monumental new paintings by Anselm Kiefer opens at Gagosian
Ein Wort von Sensen gesprochen (One Word Spoken by Scythes), 2019 - 2020. Emulsion, oil, acrylic, shellac, straw, gold leaf, wood and metal on canvas, 185 1/16 x 330 11/16 inches, 470 x 840 cm. © Anselm Kiefer. Photo : Georges Poncet. Courtesy Gagosian.

PARIS.- Gagosian is presenting Field of the Cloth of Gold, an exhibition of four monumental new paintings by Anselm Kiefer.

The tension between beauty and terror, alongside the inextricable relationship between history and place, has animated Kiefer’s work since the 1970s. Drawing on the literature of cultural memory—including poetry, the Old and New Testaments, and the Kabbalah—Kiefer gives material presence to myths and metaphors. He infuses the medium of paint with startling and unconventional gestures and objects, juxtaposing it with organic and abject materials such as straw, sand, charcoal, ash, and mud. Kiefer asserts himself as an iconoclast; his paintings undergo various processes—such as being cut, burned, buried, exposed to natural elements, splashed with acid, or poured over with lead—so as to be made anew. These strategies, along with the use of materials such as lead, concrete, glass, fabric, tree roots, or burned books, create a symbolic resonance, making palpable both the movement and destruction of human life and the persistence of the lyrical and the divine.

The exhibition’s title refers to the historic peace summit between King Henry VIII and King Francis I that took place five hundred years ago in a field in what is now Pas-de-Calais, France. The conference, centered around a strategic alliance between England and France, had the goal of outlawing war between Christian nations. The alliance was considered a key event in shaping Europe’s geopolitics—until it dissolved and war broke out, a year later. While Kiefer did not begin making these works with this event or title in mind, the connection became apparent and synchronous after their completion. As he stated in a recent interview, “the title is often not the explanation of the picture,” but is rather “an allusion.” History is one of the materials he uses and synthesizes in his work, “like clay for the sculptor or color for the painter.”

Completed over the last two years, these works predate the COVID-19 pandemic, the ripple-effect crisis it created, and the international and cross-cultural relationships it has reconfigured. While history has been fractured and unpredictable since the Field of the Cloth of Gold conference, our cultural memory holds the violent unpredictability of human relations on a continuum. The layered and visceral character of these paintings, whose scale almost matches the landscapes they depict, evokes the surging capriciousness of European history and the effects and aftermaths of war. As in The Morgenthau Plan series of 2012, Kiefer affixes other elements to the surfaces of these paintings, from plant matter to industrial material, building a third dimension onto the painted canvas. Here the field of history is transfigured into a field of gold under a dark sky.

As is customary in Kiefer’s work, each painting’s title and symbols contain a rich literary and historical set of references. Sichelschnitt (Sickle Cut) (2019) refers to the Manstein Plan (Sichelschnittplan), a war plan devised by the German Army during the Battle of France in 1940, while Beilzeit—Wolfszeit (Axe-Age—Wolf-Age) (2019) nods to “Völuspá (Prophecy of the Seeress),” the first poem of the Poetic Edda of Old Norse mythology. Verse 45 of this poem is translated as “Axe-time, sword-time, | shields are sundered, / Wind-time, wolf-time, | ere the world falls.” Ein Wort von Sensen gesprochen (One Word Spoken by Scythes) (2019–20) evokes the poem “From Hearts and Brains” by Paul Celan, whose poetry has been a point of reference for Kiefer for decades. Celan’s verse reads, “and a word, spoken by scythes / bends them into life.”

Today's News

February 7, 2021

Facing deficit, Met considers selling art to help pay the bills

Photography in the raw

A natural work of art may be hiding among Indian cave masterpieces

It's not every day we get a new blue

Exhibition of four monumental new paintings by Anselm Kiefer opens at Gagosian

Rarely seen artworks reveal untold stories in new exhibition

Works from the collection of Allen & Beryl Freer to be offered at auction

For this show, the artist went overboard

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard denied bail by Canadian judge

HBO's Black Art: In The Absence of Light debuts February 9

David Nolan Gallery presents a selection of new paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Jonathan Meese

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU presents exhibition on the work of Will Eisner

The Drawing Center opens the first museum exhibition dedicated to David Hammons's pivotal early works on paper

'Mastery and transgression' in music that bridges genres

Pierre Guyotat's visual oeuvre to be donated to the Centre Pompidou

Stevens Auction Company to offer items from three major southeastern estates

"Lewis Hine, Child Labor Investigator" opens at The Dorsky Museum

Curated kitsch collection to be offered at Benefit Shop Foundation

First solo museum exhibition for Chris Schanck, Detroit-based designer & Dallas native

Simon Patterson's exhibition 'Head to Toe' opens at Serlachius Museums in Finland

'Picasso. Figures' from Musée Picasso-Paris makes sole U.S. appearance in 2021 at Frist Art Museum

Christopher Plummer's robust final act crowned a noble career

World's first million-dollar Michael Jordan card drives Heritage Auctions' Modern Sports Cards event

'Joseph Rodríguez: LAPD 1994': New book and online exhibition by the Bronx Documentary Center

5 Tips for cleaning RV with vacuum

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful