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Anselm Kiefer. Livres et xylographies

The German artist Anselm Kiefer (born 1945, Donaueschingen) long been torn between two practices, writing and painting. Although it was the latter he eventually chose, literature continues to play a preponderant role in his body of work. Through their materiality and aesthetic, books were the first artistic medium; writing every day in a journal has enabled the artist to reflect on his work and to engage in research that is closely connected with his thinking.

The artist books that Anselm Kiefer began turning out in the years 1968 and 1969 were first and foremost a place where the artist expressed ideas, associations, and thoughts. The subsequent tomes quickly became a place for exploration in which the succession of pages made it possible to construct a narrative and situate it in time. The subjects elaborated there were then rescaled within the body of work as a whole, notably in his output of woodcuts. This art of the printmaking has allowed him to envision narrative forms in a completely different space from that of the painted canvas.

This exhibition, Anselm Kiefer │ Books and xylographies, results from collaboration between the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature in Montricher and the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo. It aims to show the artist's links with poetry, myths, Sumerian and Biblical stories, stories, history, philosophy, and Kabbalah or alchemy through a set of books, dated 1969 to 2017, accompanied by a selection of xylographies, the most recent being presented here for the first time.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Contemporary, Relief printing

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