"Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen"
White Cube, Hoxton Square
There is a whole world between the pop star Art of Richard Phillips's and Anselm Kiefer's dark poetry. But they have one thing in common and that is the White Cube Gallery.
The opening last Thursday was packed with onlookers and others who was just happy to hang out in front of the building drinking free beer. Yes, quite different than in NY where you would never be allowed to walk around in the street with alcohol and definitely not set up a free bar on a corner. It felt liberating to stand there in the crowd having a casual beer, before one goes in to experience the strength of "The Waves of Sea and Love".
Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (Detail)
Mixed media and gynaecological instrument on photographic paper
Artist Photo: Charles Duprat Courtesy White Cube
"The title of the exhibition 'Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen' (The Waves of Sea and Love), is from a play by the nineteenth-century Austrian writer and poet Franz Grillparzer. The play re-tells the classical myth of Hero, the Greek priestess, and Leander, her lover, who swam the Hellespont every night to be with Hero but eventually drowned. "
In the world of bright colors and more uplifting art as a reaction to this time of "recession", Anselm Kiefer chooses to stay close to his nature of meaning and poetry. He manages to make you see the love in the big waves and the gynocological equipment. It looks hazardous, but at the same time it brings you to think of the power of two together, desire by the sea and creation.
"I hold all the Indias in my hand"
In the mediative smaller works on the second floor, Anselm is quoting the 17th Century Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo. This seems more autobiographical with himself in the center of an endless ocean as an explorer. In the poem the man is supposed to hold a ring that bears a portrait of his lover.
With Anselm Kiefer's work you need to be in the room to feel it's strength and meanings.
Immediately you feel a rush of YES, this is what it is. This is great Art. It's like your senses and pores opens up to welcome it in. A rush of addiction!