Anselm Kiefer - Merkaba

Merkaba, 2002
Painted photograph with lead
58-1/4 x 31-1/2 inches (148 x 80 cm)

Photo: Tom Powel


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Opening reception: Friday, November 8, 2002, 6 – 8 PM

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Anselm Kiefer. "Merkaba", the third exhibition of Anselm Kiefer's work this gallery has presented, is composed of eight large-scale paintings and two monumental sculptures made of concrete and steel. The works are inspired by Kabbalist literature dealing primarily with the afterlife.

The Merkaba and Hechaloth literature, as discussed in the Kabbalah texts, deal specifically with the ascent up to seven heavenly palaces or temples, which represent the seven attainments of divine spirituality. For Kiefer, the Merkaba, or mystical chariot used for this passage, is not the vehicle towards a single apocalyptic Judgment Day but, rather, a means to the ongoing process of working at art.

Kiefer's spiritual architecture of the heavenly palaces brings the seas and land, the heavens and earth back together. His poetry of images unites NASA's cosmological ordering of the stars with the mystical order of ascent to the Palaces of Heaven.

A fully illustrated catalogue including an essay by Harold Bloom will accompany the exhibition.