Anselm Kiefer: Morgenthau Plan, 2012
Steel, sand, cotton, plaster, fabric, clay, acrylic, shellac, gold leaf, terracotta, stone, lead
188 x 637 3/4 x 566 15/16 inches (47.8 x 16.2 x 14.4 m)
Anselm Kiefer: Morgenthau Plan
PARIS, LE BOURGET • Gagosian Gallery • 19 October 2012 - 16 March 2013
|German artist Anselm Kiefer (born 1945) tries to shed light on the story behind the story. Explaining that he ‘pokes a hole, and then goes through it’, he highlights the processual nature of history and memory, especially when approached with subjective interpretations, a highly personal handling of individual mythologies and a distinctive creative style.|
Kiefer's monumental archive of human memory gives overt material presence to a broad range of cultural myths and metaphors—from the Old and New Testaments, the Kabbalah, and ancient Roman history to the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan. Fusing art and literature, painting and sculpture, Kiefer engages the complex events of history and the ancestral epics of life, death, and the cosmos. He integrates, expands, and regenerates imagery and techniques, emphasizing the importance of the sacred and the spiritual.
In Morgenthau Plan, the gallery is filled with a sculpture of a golden wheat field, enclosed within a five-meter high steel cage. Kiefer's wheat field refers to the plan proposed in 1944 by former United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau to transform Germany after World War II into a pre-industrial, agricultural state thereby limiting its ability to wage war. Morgenthau sought to divide Germany into two independent states; annexing or dismantling all German centers of industry in a devastating arrangement that would have led to the death of millions of citizens by pestilence and starvation. Although the Morgenthau Plan was never realized, it represented a potential alternative German history.
Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945 Donauschingen, Germany. After studying law, he began his art education in Karlsruhe and then Düsseldorf, where studied informally under Joseph Beuys. His work has been shown in, and collected by, major museums throughout the world.
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