Künstler und Werk
Anselm Kiefer zählt zu den bekanntesten und erfolgreichsten deutschen Künstlern nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg.
Das Gemälde „Maria“ ist eine wegweisende Arbeit, die im Jahre 1977 von Anselm Kiefer geschaffen worden ist. Nachfolgend ein Ausschnitt aus der Werkbeschreibung im Rahmen des internationalen Verkaufs:
„Painted in 1977, Maria is one of a major series of forest paintings made in the mid-1970s and early 1980s in which Kiefer drew on ancient Christian themes and intertwined them with other mythologies and mystic beliefs to create a richly personalized iconography outlining Germanic history and his own artistic and spiritual evolution. ‚I think a great deal about religion‘ Kiefer said at this time, ‚because science provides no answers‘ (Anselm Kiefer, quoted in M. Rosenthal, Anselm Kiefer, Chicago, 1987, p. 26). Maria is a work that embeds a fiery vision of the Virgin Mary into the Teutonic forest iconography that distinguished so much of Kiefer’s art during this radical and defining period of his career when he was engaged in a direct confrontation with the ancient Germanic myths and the Romanticism that had led to his country’s descent into the abyss of National Socialism. (…)
Maria is one of the first of a series of works that Kiefer has continued to make periodically throughout his life, centered on the theme of the order or hierarchy of the angels — a sense of celestial ordering inspired by the writings of Dionysus the Areopagite (the First Greek convert to Christianity). Depicting a hierarchical ordering of angels in the heavens and a coiled snake lying on the earth below, these works symbolize the eternal law of all mystic philosophy as originally set down by Hermes Trismestigus, of the mystical union between heaven and earth — ‚as above, so below‘. It is a union usually symbolized in later paintings by strips of lead interconnecting the angel’s names with the earth below. In Maria, this interconnection between the celestial angels and the dark chthonic forces of the forest floor have been represented by thick black lines of paint that like the bars of a cage seem to echo the verticality of the trees in this dense dark forest. The naked fiery figure of ‚Maria‘ represents a pictorial coming together of all this complex network of mystical references. She is the divine feminine presence that exists in almost all myths and archetypes. Drawing on alchemical and kabbalistic iconography, Kiefer presents her here, not as the Virgin Queen of Heaven, but as ‚Shekinah‘, the Kabbalistic concept of God as a divine feminine presence. Physically she forms the fiery body of spirit that like Yggdrasil, the World Tree, interconnects the ground with the sky, man with the angels, the Teutonic forest with Valhalla and the German Soul with its redemption. While departing to some extent from its Christian origins therefore, Maria is a painting that remains as its title indeed suggests, a powerfully devotional work invoking a strong and universal sense of spiritual hope and belief in the powers of redemption.“
- Anselm Kiefer, Daniel Arcas, Éditions du Regard, Paris 1996
- Geschichte als Material. Arbeiten 1969-1983, Sabine Schütz, Köln 1999
- Der Ungeborene oder Die Himmelsareale des Anselm Kiefer, Christoph Ransmayr, Frankfurt a.M. 2001
- Anselm Kiefer · Lasst tausend Blumen blühen, Werner Spies, Katalogbuch, Künzelsau 2004
- Anselm Kiefer. Die Rückkehr des Mythos in der Kunst, Cordula Meier, Essen 1992
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