Anselm Kiefer at the New School
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Anselm Kiefer’s conversation at The New School with Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume and noted British art historian Richard Calvocoressi accompanies Public Art Fund’s upcoming exhibition, Uraeus, the artist’s first site-specific outdoor public sculpture in the United States.
full of symbolic resonance, will rise more than 20 feet above the ground, creating a majestic image: a book with wings outstretched as if in flight. Clustered around the base are further outsize lead books, while a large snake coils up the column towards the winged-book.
As repositories for human knowledge and expression, books are powerful symbols in the artist’s work and when paired with wings uplifted and outstretched, give the impression of these ideals taking flight as if in triumph. Paradoxically, the book is made of lead, the heaviest of all base metals and one of Kiefer’s preferred materials for its soft, fluid properties, while the mammoth 30-foot wing-span is also fashioned from the thick, alchemical material. Uraeus extends his vocabulary of striking mythic forms, presented at an arresting new scale. It explores longtime motifs in his work that, in this context and contemporary moment, resonate in powerful new ways.
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