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Anselm Kiefer Installation an International Coup for the Art Gallery of Ontario

February 10, 2010

Anselm Kiefer, Palmsonntag, 2007, 44 panels of mixed media on board, fiberglass and resin palm tree, clay bricks and steel support, dimensions variable. ©2010 Anselm Kiefer. Courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery. Photograph © Joshua White.

TORONTO.- Acclaimed international artist Anselm Kiefer’s monumental installation Palmsonntag (Palm Sunday) is coming to the Art Gallery of Ontario this March. Kiefer, known for his epic themes and operatic flair, will be adapting and adding to the installation for its Canadian premiere at the AGO, opening March 4 and continuing through August 1. Palmsonntag is composed of a 60-foot-long palm tree, cast in fiberglass and resin, that lies on its side across the Gallery floor, surrounded by a cycle of 44 massive panels hanging in rows on the walls above. The panels, eight of which Kiefer is creating specifically for the AGO exhibition, combine paint, plaster, mud, wood, human hair, dried plant materials and rusted chastity belts, among other materials — forming a massive collage of images at once unnerving and expansive.

Palmsonntag blends religious symbols, ancient text scrawled in multiple languages, and images of fossilized decay in a work that deals with life, death and rebirth in equal measure, says AGO Curator of Contemporary Art David Moos. “Palmsonntag is an installation of profound impact,” says Moos. “It must be seen, felt, and encountered. Its historical reach and epic vision are signatures of one of today’s most important living artists.”

“Anselm Kiefer is a major artist, an innovator and a visionary,” says AGO Director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum. “The AGO is proud to be a key destination for major international artists like Kiefer; Palmsonntag is an ideal addition to our spring season of contemporary art on the leading edge.”

Anselm Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen, Germany in 1945. His works, often enormous in scale, are thematically rich with historical, spiritual and political allusions. His paintings and sculptures are in the collections of virtually every major museum of contemporary art in the world, including the MOMA, the Tate and the Louvre….More

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 2:31 am

    its truly incredible

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