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Anselm Kiefer, for Velimir Khlebnikov

From 30 May until 3 September, 2017 the State Hermitage Museum inaugurates a solo exhibition of one of the most famous contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer.

Located in the Nicholas Hall of the Winter Palace, the exhibition is organized by the State Hermitage Museum in close collaboration with the artist and in cooperation with Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London/Paris/Salzburg. Anselm Kiefer dedicated the exhibition to the great Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov.

Anselm Kiefer is an artist whose work demonstrates a deep and diverse intellectual reflection. In his oeuvre he faces the themes of history, religion, literature, philosophy as well as the question of memory and heritage. One of the main source of inspiration for Kiefer is world culture in its widest perspective: German history, religious mysticism, antiquity, and Mesopotamian mythology.

In a challenging manner, Kiefer explores layers of history by a distinct treatement of materials and texture, colours in his canvases are mixed with dust, soil, clay, rusted metal, straw and dry flowers. In 1985 he acquired an obsolete roof of the Cologne cathedral: lead sheets became pages of his artist’s books, one of his central means of expression. Delving into the practice of Anselm Kiefer demands a viewer that is prepared for mystic compassion and an immersion into the whirling of rarified intellectual ideas.

In 2016, Anselm Kiefer, inspired by his visit to St. Petersburg, created a new exhibition project specially for the Hermitage Museum. It is in the triadic space of the colossal Nikolaevsky Hall of the Winter Palace that Kiefer chose to display around 30 new works dedicated to the Russian futurist-poet Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922).

Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945 in a little German town called Donaueschingen, a few months before the end of the Second World War. Researching the themes of guilt and pain, which paralyzed his generation, Kiefer, alongside Georg Baselitz and Gerhard Richter, became one of the first artists who blatantly addressed the topics of Nazism and the Holocaust. In 1980 Kiefer represented Germany at the Venice Biennale. Anselm Kiefer is the only living artist to be part of the permanent display of the Louvre.