Anselm Kiefer2012

Pirelli HangarBicocca

Pirelli HangarBicocca

Alchemie is made up of two canvases set side-by-side that portray a dry, arid landscape in which the earth appears entirely sterile. A “rainfall” of sunflower seeds is the only sign of life and the hope of regrowth. The element connecting the canvases is a set of balance scales containing salt on one dish and sunflower seeds on the other: opposing symbols of sterility and fertility. These are a clear citation of the artist’s interest in alchemy, an esoteric science that aimed to transform lead into gold, and an allegory of man’s tension toward perfection and the divine.

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  • Title: Alchemie
  • Creator: Anselm Kiefer
  • Date Created: 2012
  • Physical Dimensions: 660 x 1140 x 40 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Anselm Kiefer; Courtesy Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan/Naples; Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo Agostino Osio.
  • Medium: Oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, sunflower seeds, metal object and salt on canvas