By Carol Dyer
Confrontational art on a major scale! One marvels at Kiefer’s concept, enterprise and industrial skill.
It’s a long time since WiPS organized an event at an art gallery. The last (also on Hollywood Road) was to learn about antique maps, which of course embrace an element of publishing. The Anselm Kiefer event, arranged in August when WiPS is traditionally “in recess”, was primarily intended as a social gathering for members and guests left in Hong Kong and wilting in its heat.
Entered through a magnificent pair of rustic Chinese doors, the Villepin gallery was blissfully cool, a sensation accentuated by its ultra-white walls and staircase, providing a contrasting backdrop for Kiefer’s striking compositions.
Regarded as one of the most important – if polarizing – artists working today, Anselm Kiefer was born in Germany towards the end of the Second World War. He knew from childhood that he wanted to paint and after studying and working in Germany until the early 1990s, he moved to France where he established a 200-acre studio compound. Most of his works until this time deal with subjects drawn from Germany and its culture and have been referred to as “a Pandora’s box of fascist and nationalistic imagery” portraying the unrelenting cycles of history, and of creation and destruction.
The pieces displayed by Villepin are recent, produced from 2020 to 2022. The more upbeat title “Golden Age” recalls the classical peak of human civilization and the flourishing of peace and prosperity, pointing to hope for the future. The artworks themselves are certainly golden, but they are nonetheless philosophically challenging!
Supper that followed at a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant offered a convivial milieu for debate. How lucky we are in Hong Kong at times!
Exhibition closes 17 September 2023.