Exhibition Anselm Kiefer | Books and woodcuts

Exhibition from 8 February to 12 May 2019

The German artist Anselm Kiefer (*1945, Donaueschingen) long hesitated between two practices, writing and painting. Although it was the latter he chose in the end, literature continues to play a major role in his body of work. Through their materiality and esthetic, books were the first support for his art, while writing every day in a journal has enabled Kiefer to reflect on his work or engage in visual experiments rooted in his thinking.

The artist’s books that Kiefer began turning out in the years 1968-69 were at first a place for expressing ideas and making creative associations of thoughts, but they quickly morphed into a site for exploration in which the succession of pages makes it possible to construct a narrative and situate it in time. The subjects that the artist elaborates in such books are then redimensioned within the body of work as a whole and notably in the woodcuts. The latter are of course an art of the printing press, which he inaugurated in the books; they have allowed him to envision narrative forms in a space that is utterly different from that of the paintings.

The exhibition Anselm Kiefer Books and woodcuts is a joint undertaking of the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature in Montricher and the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo. It aims to point up the many connections the artist maintains with poetry, myths, Sumerian and Biblical stories, fairytales, history, philosophy, Kabbalah, and alchemy, through a collection of artist’s books dating from the years 1969 to 2017, along with a selection of his woodcuts, the most recent of which are being shown for the first time.

Natalia Granero, the Jan Michalski Foundation, Montricher, Switzerland
Gunnar B. Kvaran, the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway

Invitation to the show opening

The Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature is pleased to invite you to the opening of the exhibition Anselm Kiefer | Books and woodcuts, on Thursday, 7 February 2019 at 6:30 pm, with the artist in attendance.


6:30 pm Introduction and tour of the show
7 pm Lecture
7:30 pm Cocktail

Free admission

Opening hours Tuesday to Sunday, from 2 pm – 6 pm ǀ Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to 6 pm

Admission CHF 5.- (full price) ǀ CHF 3.- (students, groups, retirees, unemployed, persons with disabilities) ǀ Free to visitors under 18 and residents of Montricher
Free admission the first Sunday of each month.

All areas of the Jan Michalski Foundation that are open to the public are completely accessible to people with disabilities and reduced mobility.

The exhibition will subsequently run from 30 May to 25 August 2019 at the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo.


Exhibition Catalogue

Anselm Kiefer | Livres et xylographies | Books and woodcuts

Texts by Götz Adriani, Jean-Max Colard, Anselm Kiefer and Rainer Michael Mason
Bilingual French and English
Co-publication by the Jan Michalski Foundaton and the Astrup Fearnley Museet, 2019
532 pages, 23.5 x 32.5 cm
CHF 75.-
ISBN 978-2-9701038-5-1

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