Taking its name from a recurrent refrain found in a play of nineteenth-century writer Franz Grillparzer, Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen, is one of the catalyst photographs from Anselm Kiefer’s panoramic series of seascapes that was conceived by the artist for an exhibition of the same name. Kiefer's extensive body of work uniquely gathers, synthesises and re-imagines texts and art that are heavily informed by the weight of history. In the present, evocative work, the artist involves the story of Hero, a priestess, and Leander, her lover, who braved the sea to reach Hero but eventually drowned. Hero, after learning of her lover’s death, died of a broken heart. The composition of Kiefer’s photograph uniquely embodies his informed aesthetic dialect where paper, acid, ash, steel and shellac are fused to create a symbolic blend of mythology, history and language. He uses photography not only as a means for composing imagery, index memory but also to capture the decay processes of time. The epic photograph appears in motion through the application of acid to its structure which becomes dynamic when confronted to air. To Kiefer, the nature of a work of art is in constant process rather than ever finished, it is to a similar extent that the picture evokes the inability to picture and represent the infinity and essence of the sea: ‘’A photograph takes only the moment among thousands of others’’ (Anselm Kiefer in conversation with Tim Arlow: White Cube/ 2018, online).
From the depths of his rich textural impasto and encrusted surface, the photograph depicts a churning sea and perturbed landscape. Visually complex, with delicate hues of blue and shadowy passages of black and brown, the monumental painting echoes the temporary nature of our lives. Superimposed on the surface of the photograph is a gynaecological instrument, disrupting the reading of the work to evoke the genesis of life and fertility through a sterile instrument. Across his oeuvre, Kiefer’s iconography frequently returns to central themes revolving around the cycle of life, destruction, and nature. This photograph is a paramount example of Anselm Kiefer’s work, imbued with mysticism where memory and classical literature become symbolic points of entry to our imagination and understanding of the artist’s message.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale