For years, we had been mystified by the Stevie Wonder album of nearly the same name, because the movie was nowhere to be found. Time-lapse photography documents the pain and joy plants experience and how they communicate it. The book was the basis for the 1979 documentary of the same name directed by Walon Green and featuring a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder, later released as Journey through the Secret Life of Plants. I saw the above street art the other day and I was curious to find out more about Anselm Kiefer and why people are not digging his work.
Os traigo este disco de Stevie Wonder, Estebita Maravilloso para los amigos, con el que pase muchos ratos en mi tierna juventud. Es un disco extrano para su epoca (salio en 1979) cuando la fama de Stevie Wonder era maxima en Estados Unidos. Stevie Wonder hizo un disco en gran parte instrumental con muchas mezclas de sintetizador convirtiendose en unos de los primeros disco grabados digitalmente.
Aqui os dejo unos tutubos, espero que lo disfruten, ahora yo recomiendo escucharlo entero y dejarse llevar por el. Efectivamente cuando la he publicado he estado tentado de incluir el tutubo de la aventura de las plantas. Por cierto, al hilo de la aventura de las plantas -si no recuerdo mal lo mejor era la cabecera, porque despues era un pestino, ?o recuerdo mal?- esa musica suena completamente Vangelis, ?es asi? Anselm Kiefer is known to be one of the most important contemporary artists in Germany as well as the world.
The focus of the exhibition is on the monumental picture Der fruchtbare Halbmond The fertile half moon (460 x 760 cm), a work from the year 2009.
When selling his substantial collection, Hans Grothe did not sell his works by Anselm Kiefer. In the works selected for the exhibition, the German past is not so much at the center of attention as it is characteristic for several other works. Right from the beginning, Kiefer‘s paintings were located between abstraction and figuration.
The exhibition was developed in close cooperation between the Museum Frieder Burda and the Foundation for Art and Culture in Bonn. Anselm Keifer, born 1945, Palm Sunday (Palmsonntag), 2006, Mixed media, Overall display dimensions variable, installation, Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008. The starting point for Kiefer’s work is his fascination with myth, history, theology, philosophy and literature.
The exhibition of Anselm Kiefer, one of the foremost figures of European post-war painting.
Also included is Palmsonntag 2006 which comprises a vast sequence of 36 paintings arranged around a full-size palm tree. A key figure in European post-war culture, Anselm Kiefer’s art derives from his great awareness of history, theology, mythology, literature and philosophy, and his exploration of a range of materials such as lead, concrete, straw, clay, flowers and seeds.
Kiefer grew up in Germany near the French border on the Rhine and looked to France as his spiritual home. In later work, the artist drew on German military history, Wagnerian mythology and Nazi architecture to grapple with the possibility of pursuing creativity in the light of catastrophic human suffering.
After the reunification of Germany Kiefer moved to Barjac, a small town in the South of France, developing and widening his preoccupations. Anselm Kiefer, Etroits sont les Vaisseaux (Narrow Are the Vessels) (2002), installation view. German artist Anselm Kiefer conjoins matter, history and time in a moving installation of paintings and monumental sculpture. The paintings surround Etroits sont les Vaisseaux (Narrow Are the Vessels) (2002), an 82-foot-long work of cast concrete, exposed rebar, and lead, rolling in ribbons through the gallery like waves along the shore. Born and raised in southern Germany in 1945 in the final days of the collapse of the Third Reich, Kiefer experienced divided postwar Germany firsthand.
Kiefer ranks among the best-known and most successful, but also most controversial, of post World War II German artists. During the early 1970’s Kiefer studied with conceptual artist Joseph Beuys, whose interest in using an array of cultural myths, metaphors and personal symbolic vocabulary as a means by which to engage and understand history inspired Kiefer. Kiefer’s early work did not conform to either the Minimalist or Conceptualist movements that were developing at the time he was a student.
Anselm Kiefer, Zim Zum, 1990, acrylic, emulsion, crayon, shellac, ashes and canvas on lead, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. One of the foremost artists of our time, Kiefer was born in 1945, shortly before the end of World War II, and grew up witnessing the destruction of modern warfare, the division of his homeland, and the rebuilding of a fragmented nation and its struggle for renewal. This exhibition documents with particular emphasis Kiefer’s monumental interventions, namely works that have a strong relationship with architecture and have been placed symbolically in environments loaded with historical, religious and cultural references. One gallery presents For Khlebnikov (2004), a series of paintings dedicated to the visionary Russian Futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov (1855-1922). Kiefer examines two different historical periods in this exhibition through bodies of work emphasizing the female identity and experience. Kiefer’s meditations on nature and science continue in The Secret Life of Plants, a frieze of 28 paintings comprising branches, lead, and wire.

Pursuing his life-long preoccupation with books, Kiefer’s For Paul Celan (2006) is composed of massive and defiant lead books pierced by flowers, ancient symbols of both fertility and the transience of life, which pay homage to the Jewish Romanian poet and essayist Celan, who miraculously survived the Holocaust.
By examining these key themes and inspirations of the artist’s practice within the dynamic spaces of the Frank Gehry building, Anselm Kiefer translates these works into operatic moments of extreme power, where painting becomes interwoven with architecture to create a mythical dimension of art as a personal and collective force. Anselm Keifer, Buch mit Flügeln (Book with Wings), 1992-1994, Lead, steel, and tin, 189,9 x 529,9 x 110,2 cm, Collection Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Now, with the power of the internet, we have discovered this fascinating unreleased and rare movie, The Secret Life of Plants, which features a mysterious soundtrack by Stevie Wonder.
The book, which is generally regarded as a pseudoscientific work, discusses the alleged unusual phenomena regarding plants such as plant sentience, as well as alternative philosophy and alternative farming methods.
The film made heavy use of time-lapse photography (where plants are seen growing in a few seconds, creepers reaching out to other plants and tugging on them, mushrooms and flowers popping open, etc.). Recuerdo como lo escuchaba sin entender muy bien aquella musica pero que se quedo grabada en mi memoria.
Conforme lo escuchas vas recorriendo el mundo envuelto en una capa de sensaciones acusticas, desde la creacion del mundo y pasando por todos los lugares donde habitan las plantas . Por cierto, la simultaneidad en la publicacion del post ha sido producto de la casualidad ????. It refers to the consolidation of the occident and orient and is exhibited in Germany for the first time.
He acquired his first pictures by Kiefer out of mere fascination and because he was emotionally touched; since at first, the rational contents did not really become accessible to him.
Symbolic combinations are created from lead, concrete, dried plants, glass, barbed wire and other heterogeneous materials. He attended school in Rastatt, where today you can see a monumental installation by him, made from carved wood. Copley (1919-1996) at the museum Frieder Burda will present more than 80 works from the American, who was in his role as artist, galerist, author and editor an important mediator between the surrealist and Pop-Art. For many years his painting was a vehicle to come to terms with his country’s past, and subsequently became ever concerned with religious traditions and the symbolism of different cultures. Early work was influenced by Joseph Beuys and in the immediate post-war period, he set out to understand Germany’s recent history, then still a taboo subject. Kiefer’s technique of layering paint and debris gives visceral life to his preoccupations with decay and re-creation. His study of ancient belief systems such as Kabbala and travel to South America, India, China and Australia expanded his interests to a cosmic view of the world. Palette is one of a series of works in which Kiefer has equated painting with burning, which cleanses the countryside and is intended to cauterise the wound inflicted by Nazism. MASS MoCA’s centerpiece Building 4 galleries feature four vast landscape paintings from a recent series never before seen in the United States, two paintings from the 1980s, and an immense concrete sculpture, Etroits sont les Vaisseaux. And transforming experience and transforming materials are what Anselm Kiefer specializes in. Adding to this sense of claustrophobia, Kiefer’s typical large-scale format imparts a sense of portentous enormity to the experience. The concrete evokes rubble, aftermath of war, natural disaster, and immense structural failure.
In his entire body of work, Kiefer argues with the past and addresses taboo and controversial issues from recent history.
Instead he created massive, dark paintings and quasi-figurative works that explored German folklore and were inspired by Caspar David Friedrich, among others.
Believing there are no truths, only interpretations, Kiefer questions the place of humans in the cosmos and has devoted himself to examining the interwoven patterns of German history, mythology, literature, identity, and architecture, creating all-encompassing works whose surfaces are as complex, multi-layered, and fragmented as their subjects. Kiefer’s art reflects on global civilization and faith and alerts us to the cyclical pattern of history, while exploring and struggling with the fundamental experiences and burdens of the human condition. These include a selection of the series of majestic paintings Chevirat-Ha-Kelim (The Breaking of the Vessels) (2000), and other subjects on a grand scale, such as his series The Secret Life of Plants (2001-02). He engages with specific points and moments in history to address universal themes and concerns that begin to overlap and bleed into one another.
This takes the form of a dialogue between archaic architecture, colossal cement shattered staircases, and pictorial representation of ancient ruins in Only with Wind, Time, and Sound (1997), which explores spiritual yearning. The Women of the Revolution (1992), a series inspired by Jules Michelet’s (1798-1874) book of the same title and comprised of lead beds with photographs and writings scrawled on the wall, evokes major feminine personalities of the French Revolution.
The title of these pieces is from a book by Peter Tomkins and Christopher Bird, first published in 1973, which explored the sentience of plants and proposed that they may be able to provide answers to the mysteries of the world.
Celan shares many of the same themes and concerns as Kiefer — a sense of mourning and melancholy, and the importance of preserving memory as a means of coming to terms with the traumas of human history. Ahora he rescatado este disco despues de tantos anos y la verdad que con el tiempo ha ganado. Curator Walter Smerling has selected 33 large format pictures from 30 years, focusing on the decade 2000.
Kiefer’s theme is the tower of Babel and the cradle of our culture, situated in the fertile Mesopotamia. The collection includes works from three decades that fascinate due to their unique materials, the compelling density of their messages and the intensity of their aura, becoming especially visible when contrasting the different works.

And the often described emotionalism of Kiefer’s works seems to be strangely altered, reduced or even neutralized.
Due to numerous pastose, not too colorful layers, the surface of the picture receives a relief structure, leading to a plasticity of the pictures nearly resembling a sculpture. In the tradition of Dada, surrealism and American pop-art, he ironically and humorously deals with erotic games between male and female in all its facets. Kiefer’s weighty subject matters are reflected in the monumental scale of many of his works, while his keen exploration and visceral layering of materials such as lead, ash, rope and human hair bring an emotional potency. Tthe exhibition is Kiefer’s largest in the UK for many years and has been made possible by Artist Rooms on Tour with the Art Fund. The expansive Man under a Pyramid 1996 measures more than five meters long and continues the artist’s interest in meditation and linking of body and mind. In Barjac worked on an even larger scale and confronted with the natural world, became interested in theories about the lives of plants, the microcosm and macrocosm, and the concept that for every plant there exists a correlated star.
Urd, Werdande, Skuld refers to the Norns or Fates of Germanic mythology, while Man under a Pyramid reflects the artist’s interest in exploring the mind and body through meditation. Before one of these mighty paintings, the viewer might feel his face pushed against the painted field, or else envision flying over it, though at a very low altitude.
Themes from Nazi rule are often reflected in his work; for instance, the painting Margarethe (1981, oil and straw on canvas) was inspired by Paul Celan's well-known poem Todesfuge (Death Fugue). In addition to paintings, Kiefer also produced drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptural books and engravings. Infused with references to both the German romantic tradition and its political and philosophical heritage, these large-scale works meld painting with collage and sculpture, combining a nearly monochromatic painter’s palette with unorthodox materials, such as lead, wire, straw, plaster, mud, seeds, sunflowers, ash, and dust. This thematic exhibition, a comprehensive anthology of Kiefer's works, showcases a selection of iconic works of the last ten years from the artist’s own personal holdings, as well as from private and public collections, including important pieces from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
The museum entrance introduces a new site-specific installation Work in Progress (2006) created for this space, a colossal sky map painting 15 meters high whose dizzying verticality corresponds with Gehry’s spectacular atrium.
The exhibition highlights Kiefer’s diverse literary and poetic inspirations, from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) to the writings of Paul Celan (1920-1970) and Jean Genet (1910-1986) and the music of Richard Wagner (1813-1883). In these works Kiefer has reproduced World War II battleships, which now float on air rather than water, while the accompanying writing refers to famous battleships, wars, and military figures, re-enacting Khlebnikov’s cyclical pattern of history over and over again.
In Women of Antiquity (2000-2004), headless mannequins in white crinoline dresses represent mythological and historical figures from antiquity. For the first time, the work Essence from the current series of alpine landscapes will be publicly exhibited. The tower divided religions and languages, but Kiefer believes in the originally uniting aspects: the foundations are no longer simply destroyed, but also under construction. From 1993 to 2006, he lived and worked in Barjac, in the Département Gard in Southern France. Most of the works come from the artist’s estate, many of them are publicly exhibited for the first time. Poems of Paul Celan have had a role in shaping his themes of German history and the horror of the Holocaust, as have the theological concepts of Kabbalah.
His works are often realized in extremely large formats (some of the paintings in the current exhibition span 25 feet in length, by 10 feet high). The result is a prolific oeuvre whose monumental scale and rich interplay of textures heighten the solemnity and transcendental nature of its contents. Through these figures, Kiefer’s paintings become interwoven with architecture in order to confront issues of nature, science, religion, and history. Science and destiny are also the subjects of Kiefer’s paintings inspired by Jaipur, a unique city in India that the artist visited.
Some of these women are heroines, and some villains, but all are remarkable for their strength and determination.
The former power of the fertile land can be regenerated, the solidarity of the different cultures becomes possible. Since 2007, Anselm Kiefer has lived in Paris, where in 2010 he was called to the Collège de France as a professor. Dark in tonality and sometimes shown with fires burning, these often-blackened places seem to have only recently been abandoned by human inhabitants. These include works dotted with constellations based on the instruments, sundials, and observatories built to observe the firmament by the Indian Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II (1688-1743), a notable mathematician and astronomer. Other famous historical figures Kiefer depicts include Berenice, Princess of Egypt from the third century BC, whose hair, legend has it, became a constellation. When I stuck them on a white canvas they became inverted stars, black on white like a negative. The huge installation Palmsonntag (Palm Sunday), refers to the Christian holy day and suggests the balance between death and resurrection, decay and recreation so characteristic of Kiefer’s work.

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