In the Beginning: Anselm Kiefer & Photography Thames & Hudson – Book Review

"In the Beginning: Anselm Kiefer & Photography

“In the Beginning: Anselm Kiefer & Photography” is a luminous exploration penned by Jean de Loisy, Sébastien Delot, Heiner Bastian, and Christian Weikop, delving into the arcane layers of Anselm Kiefer’s artistic practice.

Published by Thames & Hudson on February 29, 2024, this book is an informative guide to Kiefer’s profound engagement with photography alongside his monumental paintings and installations, thus enriching our comprehension of his multifaceted oeuvre.

Born in the aftermath of World War II in Donaueschingen, Germany, Kiefer emerges as a pivotal figure wrestling with the intricacies of his nation’s post-war identity. His work, intricately woven with cultural, literary, and philosophical threads, resonates with echoes of ancient texts, mystical ideologies, and the poignant verses of literary giants. Through an alchemy of art and literature, Kiefer transcends the realm of representation, plumbing the depths of history and the primal myths of human existence.

Central to Kiefer’s artistic odyssey is his exploration of photography, a facet often eclipsed by his more conspicuous endeavours. Within the pages of this groundbreaking book, readers are presented with over 130 works, each unveiling Kiefer’s profound symbiosis with photography and its pivotal role in shaping his artistic vision. From manipulated photographs to intricate collages, Kiefer’s manipulation of images is a testament to his relentless quest to unearth the essence of memory, myth, and spirituality.

Heiner Bastian, Sébastien Delot, Jean de Loisy, and Christian Weikop, esteemed scholars and custodians of art, offer invaluable insights into Kiefer’s artistic evolution. Through meticulous scholarship, curatorial expertise, and profound understanding, these luminaries unravel the intricate layers of Kiefer’s photographic explorations, guiding readers on a transcendent journey through the corridors of memory, myth, and meaning.

“In the Beginning” celebrates Anselm Kiefer’s towering legacy, cementing his place as one of the preeminent artists of our time. With its astute research and new visual documentation, this seminal work invites readers to embark on an enlightening journey where the boundaries between past and present blur, and the deep resonance of Kiefer’s artistry reverberates.

PCR Artlyst 2024

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