“What we cannot talk about should be sung. This is what Mozart believed was the motto of opera. What cannot be articulated by song or speech should be expressed in signs. These signs probably precede thought. It is the beginning of theory. And from this point of view, Anselm Kiefer is on the one hand an artist and a painter and on the other a theoretician and a conceiver of signs, just as a composer sees himself as a conceiver of sounds. This is the story of visible and invisible images.”
The majestic painting Die Ungeborenen with its reference to the myths and legends at the origins of humanity, is exemplary of Anselm Kiefer’s work in many ways. The artist often explores the hybrid sphere of not belonging, dealing both with questions of birth on a human scale and the notion of the beginnings of humanity. With his representation of a tree of life bearing small reduced dresses cast in lead, Kiefer creates a complex work with several layers of meaning. One of these is the idea of hatching. As in a dream, the branches of the tree seem to grow, giving life to inanimate matter. The artist plays with techniques and materials in order to treat the different themes linked with philosophy, theology and history that he has explored over the past forty years.
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