Anselm Kiefer: For Robert Fludd
Gagosian Gallery – Until Oct 12, 2023, Paris (France)
Gagosian is pleased to announce For Robert Fludd, a presentation of previously unexhibited photographs by Anselm Kiefer at 9 rue de Castiglione, Paris.
Photography is an underrecognized aspect of Kiefer’s art that has played a central role in his practice from the 1960s through the present. Gagosian’s exhibition complements Anselm Kiefer: La photographie au commencement (Anselm Kiefer: Photography at the Beginning), organized by the Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut (LaM). The first retrospective to focus on the artist’s relationship with photography, LaM’s exhibition features over a hundred works from throughout his career and will be on view October 6, 2023–March 3, 2024.
For Robert Fludd features steel-framed, black-and-white photographs of sunflowers by Kiefer from his series Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil, 1994–2012), which was titled after Charles Baudelaire’s famed collection of Symbolist poetry. Following artists including Emil Nolde and especially Vincent van Gogh, Kiefer has been drawn repeatedly to the sunflower as a symbol of metamorphosis and regeneration. The exhibition’s dedication to the early modern cosmologist Robert Fludd refers to the connections that Fludd drew between the microcosmic and the macrocosmic, and his belief that every plant on earth has a corresponding star in the sky.
Les Fleurs du Mal.
The dynamic Les Fleurs du Mal works pair positive, negative, and solarized images of the flowers’ arcing stalks, vigorous leaves, and expansive heads with abstract splatters of photographic emulsion and tinting that echo their imposing vitality and suggest constant cosmic transformation. Jericho (2010–15), a photograph of one of Kiefer’s series of monumental Die Himmelspaläste (2003–18) sculptures at La Ribaute, his former studio complex in Barjac, France—now part of his foundation, Eschaton—reinforces the dual themes of growth and destruction.