Anselm Kiefer critically engages with myth and memory, referencing totems of German culture and collective history. “Germans want to forget [the past] and start a new thing all the time, but only by going into the past can you go into the future,” he says. Revealing the influence of his tutelage under Joseph Beuys, Kiefer’s epic-scaled, dense sculptures and paintings are often exposed to elements like acid and fire, and incorporate materials such as lead, burned books, concrete, thorny branches, ashes, and clothing; famed critic and historian Simon Schama has described his work as “heavy-load maximalism.” Kiefer’s vast-ranging references have included the Black Forest, Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and Caspar David Friedrich’s Romantic landscapes, as well as Kabbalah mysticism, Cold War politics, National Socialist architecture, and Paul Celan’s seminal body of post-Holocaust poetry. “Art is difficult,” he says. “It’s not entertainment.”
About the Artist:
In the current Venice Biennale, Kiefer’s work is currently on view at the Sala dello Scrutinio and the Sala della Quarantia Civil Nova at the Palazzo Ducale, consisting of fourteen floor-to-ceiling paintings which explore the cycles of destruction and transformation.
Kiefer has exhibited widely, including solo shows at Franz Marc Museum, Kochel, Germany (2020); Couvent de la Tourette, Lyon, France (2019); Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo (2019); The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg (2017); Albertina Museum, Vienna (2016); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2015); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2014); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2011); Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2011); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (2010); Grand Palais, Paris (2007); Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2007); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2005); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1998); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1991) and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1987). In 2019 Kiefer was awarded the prestigious Prize for Understanding and Tolerance by the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and in 2017 he was awarded the J. Paul Getty Medal.
Fair location and hours:
Art Basel Hong Kong | Stand 1B28
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Wednesday, May 25, 12–8pm
Thursday, May 26, 12–8pm
Friday, May 27, 12–2pm
Saturday, May 28, 12–2pm
Sunday, May 29, 11am–12pm
Friday, May 27, 2–8pm
Saturday, May 28, 2–8pm
Sunday, May 29, 12–6pm