Alan Riding looks at the artist chosen for the innaugural solo show at the Grand Palais in Paris. “Since moving to France in 1993, this German-born artist has turned his 50-acre property in Provence into a sprawling installation, with a former silk factory serving as his studio, and warehouses, greenhouses, towers and tunnels displaying his huge paintings and sculpturing the landscape. Now this same penchant for working on a monumental scale has made Mr. Kiefer the ideal artist to inaugurate an annual solo show, called, appropriately, Monumenta, that opened on Wednesday in the cavernous space of the Grand Palais in Paris. It continues through July 8.” Read more. Don’t miss the slide show.
Has anyone ever thought to consider that the scope Anselm Keifer’s vision within the artworld is analogous to the scope of Hilter’s vision within the world? Without the death and genocide, of course, but equally megalomanic.
I’m not sure Kiefer’s “illusions” are, even metaphorically, quite as fascistic or didactic as Hitler’s constructs. Certainly the dilemma he points to, of not knowing why we are here, recalls the existential gnawing that Camus and others addressed and which has afflicted “lost generations” past and present. What attracts me to his way of thinking is his acknowledgement of despair and ignorance without submitting to them, and his intimation that art of various kinds can be the instrument of that defiance.