In its fall exhibition, the Kunsthalle Mannheim presents works by one of the most famous contemporary German artists: Anselm Kiefer. In his art, he engages with existential issues. Politics, religion, mysticism, alchemy, and cosmology form the complex of themes with which Kiefer deals in his sculptures and paintings. Anselm Kiefer acquired great renown by aggressively addressing the taboos of the German postwar period and showing in his art the emotional strife of cultural identity in view of the entanglement in historical guilt. Since his relocation to France in 1993, he has become increasingly dedicated to the connection between the Jewish and Christian religion, the myths and mystical teachings of world cultures, as well as the media of remembrance culture.
The works of Anselm Kiefer are overwhelming not only due to their sheer size but also because of their haptic materiality – the artist’s favorite materials are ash and lead. His sculptures and paintings created in elaborate work processes are additionally exposed to the elements of wind, water and fire, and even to electrolysis, making the patina of nature visible on the surfaces of the works.
THREE WORK PHASES
The exhibition focuses on three important work phases: From early pieces such as “Große Fracht” (1981/1996) with applied lead objects, via the fourpart installation “Palmsonntag” (2007), centered around a palm tree, to the expansive sculpture “Der verlorene Buchstabe” (2011–2017), large-format, multidimensional pictures and sculptures are on display. As a supplement to the special exhibition in the expansive gallery spaces on the ground floor, the Kubus 6 on the second floor will be newly staged. All works on view in the exhibition are from the collection of Hans Grothe, who died in May 2019.