The work of Anselm Kiefer, one of the world’s most prominent contemporary artists, launches a new exhibition series at NSU Art Museum focusing on post-World War II artists whose work addresses issues of identity and the convergence of history and mythology.
Drawn from the Hall and Hall Art Foundation collections, which together make up one of the world’s largest groups of works by Anselm Kiefer, the exhibition will include approximately 50 major Kiefer artist books, works on paper, paintings, and sculptures from the late 1960s to the present day. This is the first time that the majority of the Kiefer works from the Hall and Hall Art Foundation collections will be shown together to the public. The exhibition is organized by NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale in collaboration with the Hall Art Foundation, and is curated by Bonnie Clearwater, NSU Art Museum Director and Chief Curator.
Anselm Kiefer’s work is uncompromising in its response to the disasters of World War II and other historical traumas. Born in Germany during the final month of World War II, Kiefer was among the first generation of German artists to address National Socialism, the war and the Holocaust. From the start of his career in the late 1970s to the present, he has focused on coming to terms with the past, specifically the feeling of collective guilt and the identification of historical, psychological and mythological conditions that contributed to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Like German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys, with whom he studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Kiefer confronts the past by referencing such myths as Isis and Osiris, the ancient Egyptian myth of destruction and regeneration, and the history of German philosophy and culture. He explores these subjects in large-scale, narratively complex layered paintings of oil and mixed media, enormous installations, and elaborate artist books and watercolors, into which he embeds symbolic references.
Featured in the NSU Art Museum exhibition will be works such as Kiefer’s massive painting, The Fertile Crescent, 2009; his monumental landscape, Winterwald, 2010; imposing glass vitrine tableaux of organic and inorganic material such as Jakob’s Traum, 2010; and important early watercolors and artist books.
The opening of NSU Art Museum’s exhibition is timed with Art Basel Miami Beach and also coincides with the permanent exhibition of Kiefer’s monumental installations at the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Miami, providing South Florida audiences with the opportunity for a unique immersion into the artist’s work.
NSU Art Museum’s “Regeneration Series” is inspired by its renowned collection of Cobra art of postwar, avant-garde artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam and its growing role as a leading scholarly resource for the exhibition and research of art of this period.
- Anselm Kiefer Winterwald, 2010, Hall Collection. Courtesy of the artist and Hall Art Foundation
- Anselm Kiefer, 2008. Photo by Daniel Roland. Courtesy of the artist