Saturday, 10 December 2011

Anselm Kiefer - White Cube

Anselm Kiefer: Il Mistero delle Cattedrali is showing at White Cube Bermondsey, the gallery's huge new space in South London. The title of the exhibition is taken from a 1926 publication by Fulcanelli, which claimed that the Gothic cathedrals of Europe had openly displayed the hidden code of alchemy for over 700 years.
The exhibition promises big themes (alchemy, German history) and Kiefer's trademark large-scale work. In an interview in The Guardian, Kiefer says: 
Art is difficult. It's not entertainment. There are only a few people who can say something about art – it's very restricted. When I see a new artist I give myself a lot of time to reflect and decide whether it's art or not. Buying art is not understanding art.
Asked his response to Charles Saatchi's recent outburst, declaring that,
Being an art buyer these days is comprehensively and indisputably vulgar. It is the sport of the Eurotrashy, Hedge-fundy, Hamptonites; of trendy oligarchs and oiligarchs; and of art dealers with masturbatory levels of self-regard.
Kiefer replied,
"He described himself, no?"... laughing uproariously. "[These days] art becomes fashion, it becomes [financial] speculation, but Saatchi started it."
The artist also reveals that he has bought a decommissioned nuclear power station: the Mülheim-Kärlich reactor; he remarks that standing inside the power station's cooling tower was overwhelming. It's so wonderful it's like the Pantheon. It will be a challenge for me to do something with it because it's already very good. (See picture, below.)
The exhibtion continues until 26 February, 2012.

Anselm Kiefer, Dat rosa miel apibas (detail), 2009
Anselm Kiefer, Antonin Artaud Heliogabalus, 2010-2011
Anselm Kiefer, Samson (detail), 2010
Anselm Kiefer, Tempelhof, 2010-11
Anselm Kiefer, Sprache der Vögel (detail), 1988-2011
The decommissioned Mülheim-Kärlich reactor being bought by Anselm Kiefer

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