Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more

Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (Waves of love and the sea)

Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (Waves of love and the sea)
titled 'Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen' (lower edge)
acrylic, charcoal, Shellac, adhesive, staples and metal collage on printed paper, in artist's frame
42 x 128¾in. (106.7 x 327cm.)
Executed in 2011
White Cube.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
London, White Cube, Anselm Kiefer: Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen, 2011 (illustrated in colour, pp. 60-61).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay

Anselm Kiefer’s impressive panoramic seascape, Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (Waves of love and the sea), is a multidimensional artwork layered with allusion and meaning. The title is from a 19th century play by the Austrian writer Franz Grillparzer, which re-tells the classical myth of Hero and Leander. Leander, a young man, fell in love with Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, and would swim every night across the Hellespont to spend time with her. One stormy night, the wind blew out the light in Hero's tower; and Leander lost his way and drowned. When Hero saw his dead body, she threw herself over the edge of the tower, joining him in death.
This Greek myth has inspired writers and painters for centuries, from Marlowe and Keats to Rubens and Twombly, but Kiefer's telling is less explicit than most. A photograph of a crashing wave and an expansive sea is transformed and superimposed with mixed media and a gynecological instrument, imbuing the artwork with a sense of loss and ruination. The players are unnamed, but their loss is deeply felt. “Kiefer never misses a chance to remind us with nearly every gesture, every choice of material, every literary reference, over and over again, that we are tragically fated” (J. Thompson, Anselm Kiefer: Works from the Hall Collection, New York, 2017, pp. 111-112).

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