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Anselm Kiefer Sternenfall

cm 456 x 530 ca.
An exponent of German Neo-expressionism of the early 1980s, Anselm Kiefer is one of the most important artists on the international scene. Transcending artistic genres (sculpture, painting and installations), Kiefer passes through art to redeem the obscurity of history, particularly German Nazism and the Third Reich. His formation, distinguished by the exchange with Joseph Beuys, followed studies in law and Romance languages at the University of Freiburg. "Sternenfall" (falling stars) is part of a strongly indicative cycle that pinpoints the aspects of continuity and interruption between the artist’s German period and his French period, that began in 1993 when Kiefer moved to Barjac near Avignon, where he built his studio La Ribaute. This place, where he lived from 1993 to 2007, enabled him to work on large scale projects and to create a collection of works – of which "Sternenfall" is a part – centered on his most existentialist phase, dominated by the search for reciprocity between the micro and macro cosmos. Influenced by the theories of alchemist Robert Fludd, Kiefer combines spirituality and rationality, drawing on both Christian faith and Neoplatonism. Sunflowers and starry nights, themes already dear to Kiefer for his admiration of Van Gogh, became – in the work of these years – the respective negative and positive poles of an imaginary vision constructed during his stay in France. The numerical constellations that appear in the work were constructed with the graphics of lines and labels taken from the NASA system used to identify and classify the stars. The historical memory is superimposed on the existentialist theme, with the allusion to the numbering of the prisoners in the concentration camps. The numbers written on the glasses also appear on the pavement, here, from the base where the alchemical process began, in the effort to reunite the sky and the earth.
On View
D. Eccher (ed.), Kiefer. Stelle cadenti, exhibition catalogue (Bologna, Galleria d’Arte Moderna), Turin 1999. A. Mattirolo, A. Rorro (eds.), Le Collezioni. Acquisizioni di arte contemporanea per i musei nazionali. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. Soprintendenza per il patrimonio storico-artistico e demoetnoantropologico di Milano – Pinacoteca di Brera, Turin 2003, pp. 22-23. M. Calvesi, I. Tommasoni (eds.), Burri, gli artisti e la materia 1945-2004, exhibition catalogue (Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni), Milan 2005, p. 153. M. Biro (ed.), Anselm Kiefer, New York 2013 Anselm Kiefer, exhibition catalogue (London, Royal Academy of Arts), London 2014.
Photo Credits
Foto Patrizia Tocci
Legal status
Purchased from Pier Luigi Remotti
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