Tuesday’s visual art blog in London and Europe

Anselm Kiefer: Walhalla at the White Cube

[caption]Installation views: Anselm Kiefer
'Walhalla', White Cube Bermondsey, London
23 November 2016 - 12 February 2017
© Anselm Kiefer. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)[/caption]

Even though Anselm Kiefer's Walhalla exhibition has come to a close a few weeks ago, its effect still lingers. I consider it one of the most disturbing exhibitions of late - nothing short of an apocalyptic warning of what may happen if history repeats itself. Anselm Kiefer's Walhalla is served up as a package of horror stories bundled up in art, and waiting to explode.

I've stood not in awe but in silence surrounded by empty steel bunkbeds that seemed to smell in my imagination of blood and death. Soiled dresses at the 9x9x9 gallery and in a staircase that disappeared in the ceiling conjured images of terror and hopelessness.

Walhalla

Anselm, known for interweaving history, myth and identity in his art, has created a compelling exhibition that is inspired from destruction. It sparks or reignites the user to question their social and political beliefs or arouse one in them if they do not have any.

Artists have long served to be our custodians and guardians for truth. Now they are vitally important than ever, especially a time when society falls prey to dangerous and false ideals or indifference. But lately, art has become a commodity of the very establishment with whom it should be free of. Not everyone will see art as a political vehicle as art has many roles to fulfil but I hope many will be as bold as Anselm and use their art to speak the truth.

altAnselm Kiefer, Philemon in stasis 2016
Lead, water, glass and mixed media
Dimensions variable
© Anselm Kiefer. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)

altWalhalla 1992-2016
Lead, photograph on lead and mixed media
Dimensions variable
Photo: White Cube (Ben Westoby)

altSursum corda, 2016 Mixed media
Dimensions variable
Photo: White Cube (Ben Westoby)

altAnselm Kiefer, Walhalla 2016
Oil, acrylic, emulsion, shellac and clay on canvas
3 panels, each: 149 5/8 x 74 13/16 in. (380 x 190 cm)
Overall dimensions: 149 5/8 x 224 7/16 in. (380 x 570 cm)
© Anselm Kiefer. Photo © Georges Poncet Courtesy White Cube

altAnselm Kiefer, Rorate caeli desuper 2016
Oil, acrylic, emulsion, shellac and clay on canvas
3 panels, each: 149 5/8 x 74 13/16 in. (380 x 190 cm)
Overall dimensions: 149 5/8 x 224 7/16 in. (380 x 570 cm)
Photo © Georges Poncet Courtesy White Cube

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