Paris – Anselm Kiefer: “Die Ungeborenen” at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Through February 23, 2013

February 13th, 2013

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Exploring the origin and creation of life, Die Ungeborenen (“The Unborn”) is a new collection of canvases and sculptures by German artist Anselm Kiefer, currently on view at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac’s new Pantin location in Paris.

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Born in 1945, Kiefer studied with German post-war giants Joseph Beuys and Peter Dreher in the 1970s, and has displayed a consistent interest in themes of taboo and controversy, often referencing German history and the spiritual practices of the Kabbalah, a school of thought originating in Judaism, but also used by certain denominations of Christianity. In these large-scale works, Kiefer is specifically interested in “the hybrid sphere of non-belonging” and the theological concept of limbo.

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

The works in Die Ungeborenen perfectly showcases the artist’s training in both conceptual practice and figurative painting technique.  Here, Kiefer explores the revolt, the aversion of the self to change and becoming, favoring instead modes of stasis.  His works situate themselves in the space between states, and the notions of creation at play throughout the mythical and the commonplace in societies throughout history.

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

To illustrate his ideas in Die Ungeborenen, Kiefer references Jewish myths, passages from the New Testament, the legend of the Golem, the symbol of witches’ scales, the birth of Venus, and the tales of Ergot. The exhibition includes sculptures, a series of works on canvas, and a large vitrine of lava stones and jars containing synthetically rendered embryos, floating in a mimicry of medical preservation.

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Regarding the concepts explored in his new works, Kiefer writes: “It’s the other aspect of the unborn, the desire of not wanting to be born. Cry of the prophets, the revolt of Job. It would have been better if you had never been born! Everything happens as if it would have been preferable to not be born. The retrograde movement of creation.”

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

A publication printed to accompany the exhibition includes a letter by Anselm Kiefer and essays by Alexander Kluge and Emmanuel Daydé. The exhibition is on view through February 23rd, 2013.

Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Anselm Kiefer, Die Ungeborenen (Installation View) via Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

—E. Baker

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac]