Exhibition Opening 16:30–20:00
It gives Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) great pleasure to invite you to the opening of Anselm Kiefer’s large-scale installation For Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit. The works presented, monumental in size, have never been exhibited before, and the exhibition has been created especially for CC.
Claus Haxholm will create the electronic soundscape of the evening, the wine bar La Halle will offer a glass of wine at the door and the entrance is free. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Danish Minister for Culture Mette Bock. The artist will be present.
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For Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit
Anselm Kiefer’s paintings and sculptures are filled with references to the past. In the almost fifty years since he began working as an artist in post-war Germany, he has found inspiration in historical events, literature, poetry, alchemy, astronomy, chemistry, and religion.
The total installation at CC includes four paintings and four lead sculptures of airplanes. The pieces, with their battered, war-weary aura, dominate a 1500-square-meter space.The allegorically significant airplanes are juxtaposed and converse with a series of paintings that measure up to 6.6m in height and 11.4 meters in width. The paintings contain references to photographs the artist took during his travels in the Gobi Desert in 1993 and also to a scene in the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann’s Book of Franza (1955), in which the title character unsuccessfully seeks solace in the barrenness of the desert.
With his choice of the exhibition title, Kiefer dedicates the installation to the French writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s book “Voyage au bout de la nuit” (Journey to the End of the Night) from 1932, which describes the demise of European humanism in the trenches of World War I. Famous for its gallows humour and world-weary misanthropy, the book is a darkly humorous and grotesque description of the meaninglessness and evil of war. In light of current political events, Kiefer’s decision to give this book renewed attention is unlikely to be a random choice.
About Anselm Kiefer
Anselm Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen, Germany in 1945 and has lived and worked in France since 1993. After studying law, and Romance languages and literature, Kiefer devoted himself entirely to painting. He attended the School of Fine Arts at Freiburg im Breisgau, then the Art Academy in Karlsruhe He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at MoMA, New York (1988); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1991); The Royal Academy of Arts, London (2014); the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris (2015).