Anselm Kiefer - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    White Cube, London

  • Exhibited

    London, White Cube, Anselm Kiefer - Part I Für Chlebnikov, 30 June - 30 July, 2005

  • Literature

    A. Kiefer, K. Power and J. Jopling, Anselm Kiefer Für Chlebnikov, London, 2005, n.p.

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Kiefer does not claim to be an expert in sciences nor in the myths of different civilizations but his voracious reading has given him a deep appreciation, including Greco-Roman history, ancient Gnosticism, Kabbalistic mysticism and the philosophy of physicist, astrologer, and mystic Robert Fludd". (A. Kiefer, K. Power, J. Jopling Anselm Kiefer Für Chlebnikov, London, 2005).
    Through a variety of inspirations, Anselm Kiefer has managed to put together some of the most mesmerizing, intellectual and materialistically diverse works of art to date. Drawing from Paul Celan's poetry, the Russian ‘Futurian' Velimir Khlebnikov's legacy, Palm Sunday, issues of religion, myths and the memory of the Holocaust as well as the development of an identity within post-war Germany have all been subject matters which Kiefer has addressed in his large scale painting/installations. For example with Paul Celan, the two artist's are inextricably linked with the memory of the Holocaust, this has haunted Kiefer's work for more than twenty-five years and has influenced him on every level, from the naming of works and exhibitions to the incorporation of symbolic materials from Celan's imagery into the physical reality of his paintings.
    Utilising various elements and items creating somewhat violent or heavily charged aesthetics, the artist accumulates materials and objects found on his travels and incorporates them into his assemblages and installations creating a storyline infused into his array of references. It is this juxtaposition of ideas, objects and characters which make Kiefer's works of art so unique in their style, a canvas which can sometimes include rocks, snow ski's, concrete blocks, and palm trees. His critical engagement with history, perceptions on the cosmos and the human development via identity are central to his landscape of testimonials.
    In Deine Haare, Kiefer has taken to the scriptures of Velimir Khlebnikov, a fairly unknown Russian modernist poet and rewritten one of his verses in chalk across the top of the horizontal canvas. A wooden chair with actual branches lies in the middle amongst what looks like a chopped down shrub forest in the middle of winter, the paint chipped and the chair white and old, vacant, solitary within the winter of discontent; the title perhaps expressing the only escape from the miserable condition, Deine Haare (Your Hair) the nostalgic memory of a forgotten and distant love. So dense are the accumulations of coagulated, weathered and decaying plaster, resin, oils and acrylics in Kiefer's painting that they barely seem to have been painted at all.


Deine Haare

Oil, emulsion, acrylic, charcoal, plaster, wooden chair, metal and branches on burlap.
285 x 344 x 46 cm. (112 1/4 x 135 1/2 x 18 1/8 in).

£400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for £679,650

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2008, 5pm