Anselm Kiefer (German, born 1945). Der Morgenthau Plan (The Morgenthau Plan), 2012. Emulsion and acrylic on photograph on canvas, 110 x 224 inches (279.4 x 569 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Pending Acquisition Funds, 2013, and Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Image courtesy the Gagosian Gallery. Photograph by Charles Duprat.
Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape explores the interplay of history, identity, and landscape in the work of one of the most important artists of our time. Several major works by Kiefer (German, born 1945) form the core of the exhibition. These include the Albright-Knox’s newly acquired der Morgenthau Plan (The Morgenthau Plan), 2012, a monumental panorama inundated with wildflowers that proliferate in the landscape surrounding the artist’s studio complex in Barjac, France; die Milchstrasse (The Milky Way), 1985–87, an iconic depiction of a desolate, barren field; and Von der Maas bis an die Memel, von der Etsch bis an den Belt (From the Maas to the Memel, from the Etsch to the Belt), 2011–12, a seascape of epic proportions on loan to the museum. These works, in their layered and complex iconographies, exemplify the artist’s career-long explorations of nationalism, identity, and cultural memory. As an ensemble, they invoke the politics of landscape—the precarious relationship between nature, history, and aesthetics.
Complementing Kiefer’s works is an installation of paintings and works on paper from the Albright-Knox’s Collection that likewise feature landscape as a means of exploring a multiplicity of subjects and significations. The works in this section of the exhibition, by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Sandra Cinto, Gustave Courbet, Willie Doherty, George Inness, Emil Nolde, Sophie Ristelhueber, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Vincent van Gogh, and others, provide a context for exploring two salient themes in Kiefer’s practice that also reflect the modern landscape tradition: The Romantic's Landscape and The Political Landscape.
The museum invites the community to play an important role in the exhibition by participating in a dual forum for expression and exchange that will result in an accompanying book scheduled for publication in 2014. Content for the book is being developed in two ways: online, the Beyond Landscape blog offers audiences a means of sharing observations, questions, and ruminations in text, image, video, and audio formats. Within the exhibition, a room dedicated to further learning, contemplation, and expression is equipped with reading materials, drawing and writing supplies, and computers to provide visitors with immediate access to the Beyond Landscape blog as well as video and audio content about the artist and his subject matter. Albright-Knox staff members are reviewing on-site and online responses and will continue to share selected submissions on the blog throughout the run of the exhibition. All submissions through February 14, 2014, will be considered for possible inclusion in the book.
This exhibition is conceived and initiated by Director Janne Sirén and organized by Chief Curator Douglas Dreishpoon and Curator for the Collection Holly E. Hughes.
This exhibition has been made possible, in part, through the generous support of The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation and M&T Bank.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery 17.11.2013 - 05.10.2014
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