Disarray, entanglement, chaos. In the midst of disheveled wheat fields, whirlpool of branches and apocalyptic barbwire nets, I find a glimpse of hope.
The light which rises from the darkness of Kiefer’s art have always struck me. It converses with my doubts and insecurities buried in the bottomless deep layers of my body. It says: “I travelled the same agonies, therefore, I understand“.
Unsure of the results and if it could ever get any better, I raise my eyes to the witnesses on the walls. The teardrops on my skin reveal the torrential rain shaking my inner self.
To most, they look alike. The least sensible make jokes of the entangled cables, and the scholars browse the paintings mechanically. Art can be perceived as an unclear vehicle of meanings, purpose and questioning. In this instance, it can mirror your own story.
In this story, everything lives. On the canvasses, the paint crackles, fingerprints draw a path, branches nest horror stories and lighter colours predict a brighter fate. The intricate mix of wires and formulas creating texture hide subtle tones. From different angles they reflect daylight and shine metallic beams.
It’s abrupt and sharp, it hurts but it also soothes, heals, and calms the fast beating of the heart.
Kiefer perseveres in his thematic: humankind’s quest for redemption in the midst of its inexorable guilt of the past. The artists uses Norse mythology, String theory and the Gordian knot as a base reference and symbols such as hay, axe, Runes and Hebrew letters as codes to elaborate his work. These pieces are new and yet they seem to have been dug out from underneath ashes and dust from a thousand years ago.
Layers and layers of fright appear before my startled eyes, darkening my thoughts and sprinkling sadness in my eyes. Perhaps today is not the day for sorrow. Perhaps today is to remain free from introspection. But entering the world of Kiefer does not resemble a stroll but an abysmal wander. With each step, I stumble across bewilderment, relief and unforeseen rising emotions.
The accumulation of paint, the gradient of blacks and greys translate all that cannot be screamed or cried.
The beauty in Kiefer’s art resides in the transparency of his sentiments. They appear real, palpable and genuine. With candour, he shares the motifs of his turmoil to whom needs a reminder that they are not alone in the darkness.
In the silence and the immensity of the gallery, one by one, the paintings pour down the remedy that I need to face what is ahead of me. Emerging from the night, hand in hand with Kiefer arisen from his art, I am able to see the light.
Superstrings, Runes, The Norns, Gordian Knot: Anselm Kiefer at White Cube Bermondsey (15 November 2019-26 January 2020)