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Announcing Anselm Kiefer at the RA

News from our Director of Exhibitions

Published 1 April 2014

Today is an exciting day for the Royal Academy. We launched our next single artist show to the press: Anselm Kiefer.

  • As curator of the exhibition, I’d like to share with you why we are hosting it and why I believe Anselm to be one of our greatest living artists.

    When I approached Kiefer nearly five years ago, I did so in the knowledge that there are very few artists who are capable of taking on the grandeur of our Main Galleries with the confidence and scale of ambition they demand. Four decades of brave, unflinching and frequently monumental work made it clear to me that Kiefer would embrace the challenge.

    A fearless storyteller throughout his career, his work explores the human experience, while mining folklore, literature, philosophy, music, science and above all, history. His remarkable output encompasses paintings, sculptures, epic installations, drawings, photographs and watercolours.

    Our exhibition builds on a formula that we have come to regard as our own when working with our Royal Academicians, part retrospective, part new work. As with our Anish Kapoor and David Hockney exhibitions you will see the chronological development of Anselm’s artistic life but you will also experience his very personal response to the uniqueness of our galleries in the new work that he has created specifically for the space. Having worked in close collaboration with him on these elements, I am confident that there will be moments in this exhibition that will take your breath away, as well as the quieter moments where you will be surprised by the lyricism and delicacy of an artist more familiar to us for his grand pieces.

    There has not yet been a show of this magnitude on Kiefer’s work in the UK, so it is with good reason that excitement is already building here and I hope you will share in that excitement as we draw closer to the opening in September.

    For now, please tune in to our live streaming of a very special event we will be holding this evening at 7pm, Anselm Kiefer in conversation with Tim Marlow. And don’t worry if you’re not around this evening, the video recording of the event will be available for you to view whenever suits you on our blog. It’s a chance to get to know the artist better and hear more about our plans for the exhibition.

    As with exhibitions of this nature and appeal, advance booking is absolutely essential, so book your tickets now.