Five never before exhibited paintings of Anselm Kiefer enrich and expand The Seven Heavenly Palaces installation

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Five never before exhibited paintings of Anselm Kiefer enrich and expand The Seven Heavenly Palaces installation

On Friday, 25 September, HangarBicocca, the contemporary art centre supported by Pirelli, unveils the new installation by Anselm Kiefer, one of the best known, closely studied and prolific artists of our time, with an artistic vision that constantly reflects on the great historical and cultural issues of our age. The new display, curated by Vicente Todolí, is an expansion of The Seven Heavenly Palaces, a permanent work conceived for the opening of HangarBicocca in 2004 and based on a project by Lia Rumma. Together with the “towers”, now open for the public to walk through, five large-format paintings, made between 2009 and 2013 but never shown until now, will form a single installation entitled The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004 - 2015.

Five never before exhibited paintings of Anselm Kiefer enrich and expand The Seven Heavenly Palaces installation

On Friday, 25 September, HangarBicocca, the contemporary art centre supported by Pirelli, unveils the new installation by Anselm Kiefer, one of the best known, closely studied and prolific artists of our time, with an artistic vision that constantly reflects on the great historical and cultural issues of our age. 

The new display, curated by Vicente Todolí, is an expansion of The Seven Heavenly Palaces, a permanent work conceived for the opening of HangarBicocca in 2004 and based on a project by Lia Rumma. Together with the “towers”, now open for the public to walk through, five large-format paintings, made between 2009 and 2013 but never shown until now, will form a single installation entitled The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004 - 2015. 

Anselm Kiefer I Sette Palazzi Celesti, 2004. Photo: Agostino Osio. Courtesy Fondazione HangarBicocca, Milano

Five large paintings, some of the most significant of Kiefer's recent works, will go on show in the space of the "Navate" that contain The Seven Heavenly Palaces, adding to the permanent installation and giving new meaning to Kiefer's masterpiece. Using the language of painting, the works make reference to some of the themes already present in The Seven Heavenly Palaces, including the great architectural constructions of the past viewed as an attempt by man to ascend to the divine, with the constellations represented by means of astronomical numbering. They also add a number of considerations that are key to the artist's poetic vision, including the relationship between man and nature, and references to the history of ideas and of Western philosophy. 

The interaction between these five paintings and the permanent installation gives visitors the chance to enjoy a complex work of art, which they can go through in its entirety, with different views creating a single kaleidoscopic landscape. 

The works are: Jaipur, 2009; two works of the series entitled Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles, made in 2011; Alchemie, 2012; and Die deutsche Heilslinie, 2012-2013. 

Anselm Kiefer Alchemie, 2012. Photo: © Charles Duprat. Courtesy Galleria Lia Rumma, Milano/Napoli

The Seven Heavenly Palaces installation, created by Anselm Kiefer for HangarBicocca in 2004, takes its name from the palaces described in an ancient cabbalistic Hebrew tract, the Sefer Hekhalot, or Book of Palaces, dating from the fourth/fifth century AD, which tells of man's symbolic journey of spiritual initiation towards God. The towers (Sephiroth, Melancholia, Ararat, Magnetic Field Lines, JH&WH, and Tower of Falling Pictures) vary in height between 14 and 18 metres, and are made of reinforced concrete, using the corner units from goods containers as construction modules. Each tower is distinguished by different elements and materials that take from Kiefer's art: neon scripts, piles of leaden books, a ship, motion-picture film and frames without pictures. 

Anselm Kiefer (Born in 1945 in Donaueschingen, Germany) first exhibited his works in 1969 at the Kunstverein in Hanover. Over the years many international institutions have put on solo and retrospective exhibitions of his work: Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1979); Musée d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (1984); The Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, MOCA, Los Angeles, and MoMA, New York (1987); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1991); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1998); Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna (1999); Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (travelling exhibition 2005-2007); Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Musée du Louvre, Paris (2007); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2014). He has twice taken part in Documenta (1977 and 1988) and in the Venice Biennale (1980 and 1997). In 2007 the Musée du Louvre commissioned Kiefer to create a new work for its permanent collection and, in the same year, he made a site-specific installation for Monumenta at the Grand Palais in Paris. 

The new display for Anselm Kiefer's works is a special project that launches the new three-year programme curated by the artistic director of HangarBicocca Vicente Todolí. The programme will run until 2018, with nine solo exhibitions produced by HangarBicocca and devoted to international artists: Philippe Parreno, Petrit Halilaj, Carsten Höller, Kishio Suga, Laure Prouvost, Miroslaw Balka, Lucio Fontana, Maria Nordman, and Matt Mullican. 

More information is here.

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Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995.  Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995. Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

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