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"Anselm Kiefer: Paintings 1998-2000"
2001-06-15 until 2001-09-23
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Humlebæk, , DK

As the first Danish museum ever, Louisiana will be presenting a solo exhibition of works by Anselm Kiefer, including several that have never before been published. The exhibition comprises major thematic paintings, executed between 1998 and 2000, as well as books”, original works on paper, bound as books. These paintings and books, all dating from the last two years, offer the visitor a close reading, a journey through the artist’s work which keeps getting more and more concentrated, symbolic and mythical in the expression of its themes.

While traveling in China, Kiefer encountered monumental sculptures of Mao everywhere, waving to his people. This journey inspired a series of paintings entitled Lasst tausend Blumen blühen (Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom), centering on the Mao figure. Kiefer comments, I see him as an icon. An icon is kind of empty, isn’t it. You can place it anywhere, and it will take on meaning from a specific context.

Iconography is a central theme in Kiefers oeuvre. Jewish culture, too, has been a source of inspiration, and his works often incorporate natural materials. The multiple textural layers of his works indicate a far-reaching, psychological investigation of what lies hidden at the deepest levels of human consciousness and c ulture. Kiefer encourages reflection. Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom has a beauty and poetic quality of its own, and the tonality of these paintings seems quite different from that of his earlier works, suggesting a new sense of personal freedom and balance.

The works presented at Louisiana are taken from this series of paintings which has Mao as a recurring figure but also includes motifs found in Kiefer’s earlier works, such as the sea, sunflowers, and deserts. These paintings are executed in such a large format that Kiefers London gallery, Anthony DOffay, had to lease special rooms to be able to show them. At Louisiana they will be exhibited in the museums West Wing.


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