28 November 2016–29 April 2017
The Margulies Collection presents a major new installation by Anselm Kiefer.
For this monumental work, the artist has returned to Goethe's masterpiece Faust. Titled Steigend steigend sinke nieder (2009-2012) the work suggests a double movement; a contradictory state of simultaneously ascending and falling.
Steigend steigend sinke nieder is characteristic of Kiefer's work, employing an accumulation of natural and industrial materials to result in a work of complex and tactile materiality. Delicate long-stemmed, spent sunflowers are suspended upside down from the ceiling, under which rough slabs of broken concrete and stone are discarded, and bent strips of rusty metal wire spill out over the floor. Covered with a scattering of gravel and dust, the stones suggest a ground or structure that has toppled or opened up, as if rent apart by powerful natural forces or the resultant debris of war.
Kiefer has used the motif of the sunflower throughout his work and here, their pendulous forms, rusty and covered with a bone-like white paint, take on an amorphous quality like sinuous living things that are growing backwards towards the fractured earth. Similar to their presence in previous series of works, however, they also suggest a notion of re-growth and of the ability of flowers to bloom through destruction; of the infinite power of nature to heal and connect. Emphasising the implicit connection between the three places or psychic states of Earth, Heaven and Hell, the installation embraces a notion of the 'l'informe', or the formless, evoking powerful emotions in the viewer through its stark, forbidding elements assembled and spread out like an organic, uncontrollable mass.
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
591 NW 27th St
Art Basel Miami Beach opening hours:
Monday 28 November–Saturday 3 December: 9am–6pm
Sunday 4 December: 9am–2pm
Anselm Kiefer ‘Steigend steigend sinke nieder’ (2010)
Oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, thorn bushes, and lead on canvas in glass and steel frames
111 x 151 3/16 x 13 3/4 in. (282 x 384 x 35 cm)