Art and Architecture : Anselm Kiefer and David Chipperfield at the RA

Anselm Kiefer :
In the Annenberg Courtyard 2014.
Velimir Khlebnikov: Fates of Nations: The New Theory of War
Anselm Kiefer often dedicates his works to intriguing figures of the past, be they poets or philosophers. This piece is one of a number of works emerging from Kiefer’s ongoing exploration of the Russian Futurist avant-garde writer, theorist and absurdist Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922).

After years of study, Khlebnikov concluded that a major sea battle took place every 317 years, or multiples thereof. Kiefer celebrates this heroic and ludicrous activity with a work that is both monument and anti-monument. Measuring almost 17 metres in total and consisting of two large glass vitrines, Kiefer creates a transparent, reflective sea-scape in three dimensions that calls to mind the Romantic sublime of painters from JMW Turner to Caspar David Friedrich. Kiefer uses the frames of the vitrines to stage a mysterious drama, in which viewers, seeing each other and their own reflections, become participants.

  • Wednesday morning saw an intriguing discussion between the artist Anselm Kiefer and architect David Chipperfield RA.
    Beginning with Kiefer’s extraordinary studio complexes in Germany and France, the discussion roamed over questions of materiality, the nature and feel of spaces, scale, history and the ruin.
    Watch footage of Kiefer’s studios at Barjac and Croissy in our video playlist.


CrossRef citations


Original Articles

The Architectural Lessons of Anselm Kiefer's La Ribaute

Pages 245-260 | Published online: 28 Apr 2015

This article examines the architectural significance of Anselm Kiefer’s situated art practice, exploring how relationships of poetry, history and culture, presented across all of his work, provide vital lessons for architectural thinking and doing. Kiefer’s creation of La Ribaute, outside Barjac, France, is particularly well suited to the study of a hermeneutic approach to architectural creation, since the reinterpretation of historical and mythical themes across painting, sculpture, earthworks and architecture critically situates modern creative practice within the larger continuum of human culture and knowledge.