Osiris and Isis

Osiris and Isis

Monday, March 14, 2011

Artist Biography + Dates of Exhibition

Anslem Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen, Germany on March 8, 1945. Kiefer studies with Joseph Beuys when he was younger after giving up his focus of being a lawyer for being an artist. Kiefer's studies with Beuys influenced his own early practice greatly, giving him many qualities of confidence and eclecticism with materials and mythological tendencies as well as a theological and philosophical approach to making art. Kiefer has always responded to the turmoil of post war germany, including the holocaust as well as more recent east/west conflicts and up to the contemporary ideas and ideals. He lives and works in Paris but travels extensively speaking fluent German, French, Dutch, English as well as other interests. He has a great love of literature and poetry often using the bible or poetry as foundations for titles; writing often shows up in his painting and sculpture in his signature scrawl. He is 66 years old.

Dates of Exhibition

January 5th--OPENING DAY -contact for gallery tours-

January 17th--RECEPTION with Artist Lecture 6:00

March 17th--CLOSING DAY

Lamentation: Six pieces of Mourning

The monumental painting "Osiris and Isis" explores a massive sense of space in the usual power-house manor that Kiefer is known for. Kiefer is interested in histories, in peoples movements, in their faiths and dependencies. His power comes from his confidence, his aggressive fearlessness with mark making and personal touch. His paintings are massive, in all sense of the word, they are packed with mud and dirt, burned, cut, broken, painted on with paint as well as all number of objects and materials. This painting holds vines that move in a funnel like shape up to the top of the painting where a window rests, right above the peak of the pyramid structure. The painting is monumentally scaled and the subject matter is also that of a monument; Kiefer highlights human beings ambition, egotism and faith in the use of the monument. He deals with 'construction and deconstruction always' in ways of idea and material. These six works come together to make a truly epic experience; from giant marks left by man--dismantled and rebuilt and dismantled--as well as shadows of the faiths that build people's souls to the people themselves in works like Sonnenblume I. This collection of six works is brought together in hopes of showcasing the essential quality of humanness in Kiefer's work; from trembling to confidence to the fantastical and purely mystical.

Sonnenblume I

Unlike his massive paintings, this relatively small one shows us bowed sunflowers. As figures they could be thought of as mourners, with dark heads and slender stalks. Kiefer's interest in poetry and words/languages makes for an examination of the title relevant. The idea of a "sun" flower gives many clues into faith and humanity, giving hints of christian faith and a mourning for the world.

Die Sechste Posaune (The Sixth Trumpet)

This work references the book in the bible revelations and the trumpets that are sounded in heaven by the angels at the worlds end. Each trumpet signals a new phase of the apocalypse. The empty desert recalls a loneliness and desolation that showcases the fear of ultimate end. Kiefer states "I am against the idea of the end, that everything culminates in paradise or judgement."

Buch mit Flügeln (Book with Wings)

You could look at any of Kiefer's work and feel bulldozed, but none work in quite the same simple and elegant way as his sculpture Buch mit Flügeln which depicts a book which has sprouted wings that is all made out of Lead and Tin. No one can claim a more expressive and romantic approach to art making than Kiefer, who molds materials as if he was made out it himself.

Aschenblume (Ash Flower)

This painting harks of disaster and human beings touch. There is a hopeless quality to the dark mass that rises from so little. An ethereal ghostly feeling of remorse and regret.

Zweistromland/The High Priestess

Kiefer's sculpture is as massive as his painting, thick with the artists mark, thick with material and thick with allusion. These oversized volumes crowd the shelves, brambles and vines woven throughout the entirety. Kiefer stated in an interview for his gallery 'The White Cube' that "i create history, i do history, history is my mud." His books look like volumes of history before history, the history of the unknown parts of the world, the mysterious and unwritten, written in mud and ash.

Anselm Kiefer at the Guggenheim

We are excited to present the 2011 Winter Exhibition of the German born artist Anselm Kiefer entitled "Lamentations:6 works of Mourning." The exhibition features six works by the sixty-sixty year old artist: four of his large scale landscape paintings coupled with two sculptures. The works that are shown are "Osiris and Isis," "Book with Wings, "Aschenblume (Ash Flower)," "Zweistromland/The High Priestess," "Sonnenblumen I," and "Die Sechste Posaune (The Sixth Trumpet)" Guggenheim is extremely pleased to present an Artists lecture and reception on January 17th at 6:00pm until 10:00pm.

This exhibition is supported by a grant from the NEA.