PARIS – It can be very tempting to bring together two artists, regardless of their time or their genre, just to see the sound box that can result from this. We all remember the particularly convincing Van Gogh-Artaud. As the centennial of Rodin’s death approaches, it is Anselm Kiefer, one of the most important artists of contemporary art, who was asked to measure himself to the one he himself calls “the stroller between worlds”. While the exhibition has left most viewers with a tepid impression due to the fact that the works of each artist were not put face to face, but were simply shown in different spaces, the catalogue, on the other hand, really works like an echo, like a sound box. When Kiefer takes a hold of a theme as nationalistic as the cathedrals in France and decides to marry it to any architecture, an erotic one – that of a woman in a form that is familiar to him, on huge books in plaster. The workshop is very important to both artists and it is equally dealt with here with impressive images of the spaces in Croissy and Bajarc that represent for Kiefer the same role of a laboratory as it had for Rodin. At a time when primary tensions on identity, in a continent -Europe - that seems to have a suicidal wish to disintegrate, the essays deserve to be read. In a dialogue, Kiefer has a brilliant phrase that deserves to be meditated: ”It was in France that I became German.” The exhibition is presented at the Musée Rodin until 22 October 2017. It will then travel to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.
Review published in the newsletter #464 - from 16 March 2017 to 22 March 2017