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Anselm Kiefer ‘Superstrings, Runes, The Norns, Gordian Knot’ (2020)


Text by Janne Sirén and Klaus Dermutz
Edited by Honey Luard
Designed by Peter Willberg
310 × 241 mm, hardback
162 pages, 59 colour illustrations
ISBN 978-1-910844-41-0
Published by White Cube, 2020

Anselm Kiefer. Superstrings, Runes, The Norns, Gordian Knot, is the record of an important group of paintings and installation by one of the most acclaimed painters working today. Commanding all the galleries at the Bermondsey location, the exhibition brought together many of the interests that have characterised Kiefer’s work for decades, including mythology, astronomy and history.

Drawing on the mathematical model known as ‘string theory’ that attempts to articulate the known fundamental interactions of the universe and forms of matter, Kiefer has ‘tried to bring together theories of seemingly extraneous principles from different cultures and histories’, so that complex scientific theory is connected with subject matter from ancient mythology.

Including extensive illustrations of the single installation of thirty vitrines which formed the backbone and lent its title to the exhibition, alongside the monumental paintings that are the artist’s hallmark, the ideas informing the works are addressed in a conversation between Kiefer and Klaus Demutz. This exhaustive text provides an invaluable insight into Kiefer’s primary areas of interests while an essay by Janne Sirén focuses on the artist’s use of language, both aural and written.

Contributors: Klaus Dermutz, studied theology, philosophy and sociology in Graz and Berlin, and is the author of numerous books. Dr Janne Sirén is Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director, Albright-Knox Art Gallery and President, Eschaton Kunststiftung / Eschaton Foundation.

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