Royal Academy – 27 September — 14 December 2014
I always enjoy my trips to London, looking for inspiration and keeping up to date with current affairs of the art world, but this particular trip really lived up to the high expectations I had. The reason for this was that I went to see the eagerly anticipated Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Royal Academy. A retrospect of Anselm Kiefer’s career and containing a mixture of his paintings, sculptures, mural, drawings and notebooks no visitor will be left disappointed.
As I moved from room to room, I found his paintings and his use of materials on these most interesting, creating an overall hybrid of painting and sculpture. Secondly to this, I loved the size, and grandeur of the paintings, commanding your attention as you walk into each gallery.
Uniquely, all the senses are activated throughout this exhibition – a little extra for the unsuspecting visitor. The smell of oil follows you throughout, making your experience not just visual but also sensory. The layering of the paint, cracking and crumbling of the canvas, creating tactile textures which tempts you to do the forbidden and touch them, even peel off the paint, to see what’s hidden beneath. Of course I refrained from the temptation but it certainly adds an extra dimension of intrigue to the experience.
Kiefer takes inspiration from a wide range of sources; poetry, science, philosophy to name but a few. His work is packed with symbolism, meaning and commentary on history and ultimately asking the question of ‘why we are all here?’
In short, an interesting and thought provoking exhibition, making my latest trip to London, one of my most enjoyable. A BBC documentary on the Artist and this particular exhibition can be seen here.
For more information on the exhibition visit www.royalacademy.org.uk.