Kiefer's celebrated orders of the night

Kiefer's celebrated orders of the night
Kiefer's celebrated orders of the night

German artist Anselm Kiefer (1945 –) we have to consider one of the best representatives of the neo-expressionist movement. And without a doubt this gigantic work (514 x 503) is one of his greatest creations. A work that he made in 1997 and that today is exhibited at theGuggenheim Museum in Bilbao


Kiefer's Celebrated Orders of the Night

The first thing we have to talk about is his painting technique. In this case, he uses a large canvas on which he applies acrylic and photographic emulsion. Other types of materials such as straw, wood or lead appear in other of his works, and in fact they are materials that lose qualities over time and can even decompose, but the ephemeral nature of his work does not worryat all. Kiefer. And even, on some occasion, he himself has taken care to make his works disappear, to at the same time cut with the past.

The canvas has an impressive presence, and not only because of its tremendous dimensions. Also for its aesthetics. We see the self-portrait artist himself lying on the ground, or is he dead? In that same position he had already been represented in the immediately previous years, and in those previous paintings it does seem clearer that he is painted as a corpse. Instead here the impression is that he is contemplating the infinite sky.

The starry sky is a matter thatThis painter is passionate, and not only as an aesthetic, astronomical or atmospheric fact. Above all, he is interested in what human beings have interpreted about the stars and the darkness of the night. A space that throughout various cultures and civilizations is usually related to the future, mysteries, divinities and destiny.

In reality, there is always a strong spiritual charge in Kiefer's works. Just look at this huge cloth. We can perfectly imagine that this character lying on a poor and dry ground is ourselves. It is not difficult to think that we are contemplating that infinite sky, absorbed in our daydreams and amazed at that infinite and unknown place that we have before our eyes.

In other words, it is an intimate and introspective scene, but paradoxically the author shares it with his audience. And although he tries to talk about his little inner self, the most important thing is the portrait he makes of the greatest place that the human being can contemplate: the sky.

They are speculations that we viewers of the painting make, but they are undoubtedly caused by the author, who pours his obsessions into the painting, making us part of them with his expressiveness based on shapes and a reduced palette of colors. That is why we can consider him one of the most interesting Neo-expressionism artists to have existed between the 20th and 21st centuries.

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