The show’s title work, Alkahest (2011). Oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, chalk, lead and glass on canvas. 280 x 380 x 19 cm (110.24 x 149.61 x 7.48 in). AKI 2059. All photos Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris/Salzburg. Photos Charles Duprat.
Currently showing at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac‘s Salzburg branch is “Alkahest,” sculptures and paintings by Anselm Kiefer, all of them related to alchemy, and collected under a title that means universal solvent. Explains Kiefer, “The term Alkahest signifies that there is a solution which can dilute any substance.” The exhibition runs through September 24, and is held in the HALLE, a special large-scale exhibition space within the museum.
More images and story after the jump…
Pulling bits of philosophy from Hölderlin and Goethe, Heidegger and Nordic mythology, Kiefer weaves together stories of transformation, literally sculpting them into static permanence. Focusing on water and stone, one material eroding the other, “Alkahest” is full of Biblical symbols. See, for example, the Baptismal iconography in Wolken heitere Stimmung, the Temple Mount scene in A.E.I.O.U., and the aptly named Samson.
Anselm Kiefer, A.E.I.O.U (2011). Oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, charcoal, chalk and palm leaves on canvas. 190 x 330 cm (74.8 x 129.92 in). Via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
Born in 1945, Anselm Kiefer moved in 1993 from his native Germany to France, where he works and lives. Kiefer has had solo shows in galleries and museums around the world, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Musée d’Osay, Paris; Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; Galerie Beyeler, Switzerland; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York City; and more.
Installation views, via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac:
– R. Fogel