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New exhibitions: Anselm Kiefer | Private Passion

Press release -

New exhibitions: Anselm Kiefer | Private Passion


Anselm Kiefer – Books and Woodcuts

Exhibition Period: May 30 — August 18, 2019

Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945) long hesitated between two practices, writing and painting. Although it was the latter he eventually chose, literature continues to play a preponderant role in his body of work. Through their materiality and aesthetic, books were the first support for his artmaking, and writing every day in a journal has made it possible for the artist to reflect on his work and to engage in research that is closely connected with his thinking. The present exhibition, Anselm Kiefer - Books and Woodcuts, aims to show – modestly in light of how vast his body of work is – the artist’s many connections with poetry, myths, Sumerian and Biblical stories, tales, history, philosophy, Kabbalah, alchemy, and more.

The exhibition, a result of a collaboration between the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature in Montricher, Switzerland, and Astrup Fearnley Museet, features a series of books dating from 1969 to 2017, and an accompanying selection of woodcuts together with paintings and sculptures. The most recent of these books and woodcuts are being shown here for the first time. The exhibition will be shown in the Kiefer Hall at Astrup Fearnley Museet, the exhibition hall, which has been named after Anselm Kiefer. This is where his iconic lead shelf, The High Priestess/Zweistromland, stands, along with his two great paintings Barren Landscape and Ladder to the Sky.

In connection with the exhibition, a comprehensive catalog has been created which is richly illustrated with Kiefer's works and with texts which especially focuses on his work with artist's books and the literary references. Besides an introduction by the curators Natalia Granero and Gunnar B. Kvaran, you can read texts by Rainer Michael Mason, Jean-Max Colard, Götz Adriani and Anselm Kiefer himself.

Natalia Granero and Gunnar B. Kvaran

Anselm Kiefer in the Astrup Fearnley Collection
Anselm Kiefer's The High Priestess / Zweistromland (1985 - 1989) was acquired for the Astrup Fearnley Collection the same year as it was completed, in 1989. When the museum opened in 1993, this work was standing as an impressive statement for the new private contemporary art museum. Kiefer was already an important and well-established artist and the huge bookshelf in lead is an iconic work in his oeuvre. He is one of the great artists of our time and his works have in some way set the standard, ambition and quality for the Astrup Fearnley Collection.


Private Passion – New Acquisitions in the Astrup Fearnley Collection

Exhibition Period: May 30 — September 15, 2019

Art collecting is a passion. The collector finds a work of art, falls in love with it, and cannot let it go. And that process repeats itself again and again. The role of collectors in western culture is complex. They explore art history in their own way, picking and choosing, taking a stance. Like artists, collectors act as individuals. It is their personal taste that determines the selection.

Hans Rasmus Astrup, the man behind the Astrup Fearnley Collection, is one of these passionate collectors. His clear intentions and structured approach to building a group of international contemporary artworks have resulted in an ambitious, coherent collection that is both world class and complementary to those of other museums in Norway and the Nordic countries in general.

This exhibition will present a large and varied selection of Norwegian and international artworks that have been acquired in the period from 2012, when the museum moved to Tjuvholmen, until today. Among others you will see works by Korakrit Arunanondchai, George Condo, Rachel Harrison, Marianne Heske, Juliana Huxtable, Josh Kline, Margaret Lee, Ibrahim Mahama, Mathieu Malouf, Helen Marten, Katja Novitskova, Torbjørn Rødland and Xu Zhen.

Gunnar B. Kvaran

Facts about the Astrup Fearnley Collection
The Astrup Fearnley Collection is one of Norway's most important and comprehensive private collections of contemporary art. It dates back to the 1960s and includes works by international and Norwegian contemporary artists. Rather than being built up around art historical periods and movements the collection focuses on individual groundbreaking works, and often selected artists are closely followed over several years. Since 1992 until today Hans Rasmus Astrup has been listed among the world's 200 most important art collectors at Art News' Top 200 Art Collectors. The Astrup Fearnley Collection today counts 1392 artworks.


Astrup Fearnley Museet is a private museum of contemporary art and has since its opening in 1993 been one of the most important art institutions in Oslo. The museum moved to Tjuvholmen in 2012, beautifully located by the Oslo Fjord in a building designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. The museum shows changing exhibitions by leading international and Norwegian contemporary art and houses the Astrup Fearnley Collection. The collection is one of Norway’s most important and extensive private art collections, with iconic works by artists like Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer and Jeff Koons.


Stein-Inge Århus

Press contact Head of Communications +47 452 40 092