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Glaube, Hoffnung, Liebe



Anselm Kiefer

Germany, France

08 Mar 1945 –

  • Details

    Other Titles
    Order of the Seraphim
    Faith, hope, charity/love
    Alternative title
    Die Ordnung der Engel
    Media category
    Mixed media painting
    Materials used
    emulsion, synthetic polymer paint, shellac on photodocument paper on canvas (linen) with lead
    280.0 x 380.0 x 75.0 cm overall :

    a - canvas, 280 x 380 x 20 cm, stretcher

    b - propeller, 127 x 25.5 cm, blade - glaube

    b - propeller, 120 x 26 cm, blade - liebe

    b - propeller, 130 x 24.5 cm, blade - hoffnung

    b - propeller, 23 x 30 x 60 cm, nose (irreg)

    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Mervyn Horton Bequest Fund 1987
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Anselm Kiefer

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Anselm Kiefer

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 5 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 16 publications

Other works by Anselm Kiefer

See all 6 works