Anselm Kiefer’s message to us seems to be that love flees and plays with time and history. At the end of the nineteenth century, Auguste Rodin made many copies of his famous sculpture Fugit Amor – a man embracing a woman, who appear to be drawn along together by an invisible current. The first version was the one destined for an unfinished work, The Gates of Hell. Kiefer has chosen this as a sort of guiding spirit in his new exhibition project designed for the spaces of the Lia Rumma gallery, and it accompanies us through themes and leitmotifs of his work, on a discontinuous chronological journey through a past and a present that are deliberately jumbled together.
Last year, Kiefer entered into one of his original long-distance poetic dialogues with Rodin, exhibiting at the Musée Rodin in Paris, where he declared: “I always feel guilty about painting something reassuring. Great artists are iconoclasts. I know that everything I take on also contains the negation of itself.” The act of creation is an ever-evolving process for the German artist, who works like a prophet-alchemist, never ceasing to seek out new forms to contrast with the old. A forever unfinished process to which he returns, like Rodin to his sculptures. Step by step, from the first stage of decomposition of ignoble matter all the way to the attainment of the philosopher’s stone. And it is from here that we embark on our epistemological journey through the many works dotted around the various rooms of the gallery, filled with history and stories at times forgotten, coming up against the essence of love, which may perhaps be found here and everywhere.