Anselm Kiefer. Opus Magnum

Anselm Kiefer, Opus Magnum – Für Ingeborg Bachmann, das Sonnenschiff (For Ingeborg Bachmann, the Solar Boat), 2015
Kiefer-Grothe Collection in the Franz Marc Museum
© Anselm Kiefer; photo: collecto.art

Anselm Kiefer, Opus Magnum – Athanor, 2014,
Kiefer-Grothe Collection in the Franz Marc Museum
© Anselm Kiefer; photo: collecto.art

Anselm Kiefer, Opus Magnum – Daphne, 2016,
Kiefer-Grothe Collection in the Franz Marc Museum
© Anselm Kiefer; photo: collecto.art

12 July, 2020 – 21 February, 2021

In 2016 Anselm Kiefer grouped six large-format photographs together with twenty-three glass vitrines under the title Opus Magnum. Like time capsules the contents of these glass cabinets reflect the variety of topoi in his œuvre. The transparent shrines contain a complex ensemble of objects and meanings, rich in associations. They are both clear yet dense, light and heavy simultaneously.

Emanating from the wealth of this subject matter the exhibition explores the important role of literary, mythological and biblical motifs in Anselm Kiefer’s work, juxtaposing the glass vitrines with short, associative texts by contemporary writers, including Marion Poschmann, Christoph Ransmayr and Ferdinand von Schirach.

Through this literary approach Anselm Kiefer’s motifs – that reappear time and again in ever new variations – are explored in a different light. Along with Georg Baselitz and Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer is one of those German artists who, born during or shortly after the Nazi period and the war in Germany, took a stance against the general silence regarding Germany’s recent past that prevailed: “I was living among people who were all there at that time but who never wanted to talk about it. That time was an empty space” is how Kiefer described this situation himself. His deep rootedness in the Romantic period and history of ideas, as well as the correlation between mythology and modernism that characterise his work, are closely associated with his views on history.