(Germany, France 1945– )
280.0 x 380.0 x 75.0cm overall:
a - Canvas; 280 x 380 x 20cm; stretcher
b - Propeller; 127 x 25.5cm; blade - glaube
b - Propeller; 120 x 26cm; blade - liebe
b - Propeller; 130 x 24.5cm; blade - hoffnung
b - Propeller; 23 x 30 x 60cm; nose (irreg)
There are two powerful strands to Kiefer’s work since the early 1980s; a philosophical investigation into the problems of representing transcendence and experimentation with materials and images to create hybrid forms between paintings and sculpture that confound traditional representations of space.
Kiefer describes both these enquiries as journeys into the unknown. The idea of the journey is a metaphor that he often includes in images and in material processes. In ‘Glaube Hoffnung Liebe’ the journey is potentially a flight that would take us from the material plane into the heavens and yet the propeller is made of lead and will never fly. The words in the title are inscribed on the three blades, they are St Paul’s three cardinal virtues; faith, hope and love. Perhaps Kiefer is implying that neither technology nor the exercise of virtue can achieve literal transcendence and yet he is constantly asking the question, why not?
Applying an object such as this lead propeller to a representation of a landscape contradicts the logic of spatial representation. Where in the space of the painting do we locate the object? Is it lying on the rock shelf or hurtling through space? In fact it is not in the space of the painting at all but hovers as if in a separate dimension or representational register. Yet the two kinds of space are magically integrated so that we don’t see one or the other but both at once something akin to the strange behaviour of quantum physics.
Anselm Kiefer (Germany; France, b.1945), Germany, Purchased by the AGNSW from the artist 1987
Stephen Farthing (Editor), 1001 paintings you must see before you die, London, 2007, (colour illus.).
White Cube (England) (Author), Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia, estab. 1874), Anselm Kiefer Aperiatur terra, 2007, 52 (colour illus.), 53.
Anthony Bond (England; Australia) (Commissioning Editor), Wayne Tunnicliffe (New Zealand; Australia) (Commissioning Editor), Contemporary: Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection, 2006, 112, 136, 137 (colour illus.), 430, 436.
'New on two' by Jill Sykes, pg. 18-19, Look Sep 2006, Sep 2006, 18.
'Mervyn Horton's bequest' by Michael Wardell, pg. 11-12, Look Jun 2004, Jun 2004, 12.
Carmen de Cima Suárez (Spain) (Author), Ana Vázquez de la Cueva (Spain) (Author), Aeronáutica y Pintura, Spain, 2001, 222, 223 (colour illus.).
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 75 (colour illus.).
Donald Williams (Australia) (Author), Barbara Wilson (Australia) (Author), From Caves to Canvas: An Introduction to Western Art (Second edition), Sydney, 1998, 341 (colour illus.).
John O'Neill (United States of America) (Editor in Chief), Barbara Cavaliere (United States of America) (Editor), Anselm Kiefer - Works on Paper in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1998, 62 (illus.). fig.no. 17
Donald Williams (Australia) (Author), Colin Simpson (Australia, b.1960) (Author), Art now: Contemporary art post - 1970, Australia, 1994, 181 (illus.). fig.no. 10.4
Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia, estab. 1874) (Author), Great gifts, great patrons: an exhibition celebrating private patronage of the Gallery, Sydney, 1994. no catalogue numbers
Ewen McDonald (Australia) (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, Sydney, 1994, 257 (colour illus.).
Donald Williams (Australia) (Author), Barbara Wilson (Australia) (Author), From Caves to Canvas: An Introduction to Western Art, Sydney, 1992, 281 (illus.).
Annabel Davie (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, Domain, 1988, 97, 98-99 (colour illus.).
Nick Waterlow (Australia) (Director), The 1988 Australian Biennale: From the Southern Cross: a view of world art c1940-1988, Sydney, 1988, 162, 163 (colour illus.). no catalogue numbers
'Sydney Biennales' by Margaret Plant pg. 254-263, Art and Australia (Vol. 26, No. 2) Summer 1988, Summer 1988, 262.
Wim Beeren (Netherlands) (Author), Anselm Kiefer: Bilder 1986-1980, Unknown, 1986, 68, 69 (colour illus.). cat.no. 24
Anselm Kiefer: Bilder 1986-1980, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, 20 Dec 1986–08 Feb 1987.
Acquisitions from the Komon, Salkauskas and Horton Funds, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 05 May 1987–31 May 1987.
Australian Biennale 1988: From the Southern Cross: A View of World Art c1940-1988, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 18 May 1988–03 Jul 1988.
Great gifts, great patrons, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 17 Aug 1994–19 Oct 1994.