On October 21, 2016, the press conference for “Anselm Kiefer in China” Beijing Exhibition opened at CAFA Art Museum, the long-awaited grand exhibition of Kiefer will be shown at CAFA Art Museum from November 19, 2016 through to January 8, 2017. It is the first large-scale retrospective of the artistic creations by Anselm Kiefer in China, presenting a total of 87 paintings, sculptures, installations, and photographic works as created by Kiefer since the 1980s, including some of his representative large-sized works.

Jin Shangyi, former President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, member of the standing committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, honorary chairman of the China Artists Association, Prof. Shao Dazhen from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Fan Di’an, President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Pang Bo, Executive Director of Johann Adam Schall von Bell Science and Art Foundation, Germany, Director of Bell Art Center, Germany in Greater China, Wang Huangsheng, Director of CAFA Art Museum, the Chinese co-curator of the Anselm Kiefer exhibition in China, and other honored guests attended the press conference, to have an in-depth communication on the preparation of the exhibition, the basic framework of the exhibition, academic and public services. Wang Chunchen, Head of the Department of Curatorial Research of CAFA Art Museum presided over the press conference.


At the press conference, Prof. Shao Dazhen from the Central Academy of Fine Arts explained the significance of Kiefer art in the history of contemporary art from an academic perspective, Kiefer began to be an artist gaining attention since the 1960s and 1970s, when the American artistic idea of “focusing on concept, neglecting painting” was popular, Kiefer’s creations emphasize on the return to painting, which formed an ideological confrontation of this mainstream trend of thought.

At that time, some American critics considered that Kiefer’s art directly faced German reflection on World War II, redundantly emphasizing the positive side of German national identity, together with a strong nationalist sentiment. But Prof. Shao Dazhen did not agree with this view, he believed that Kiefer’s art also absorbed some elements of American conceptual art while returning to Expressionism Painting in Germany, which was clear from the use of materials by Kiefer.

Chinese contemporary art was closely associated with Kiefer, who was introduced to China as the 85’ Nave Wave developed vigorously in China, affecting the creative faces of a large number of contemporary Chinese artists. Kiefer himself came to China in 1992, from Beijing to Xi’an, crossing Xinjiang, he arrived at the south of Silk Road, and finally got to Pakistan and India. The large-scale retrospective exhibition in Beijing does not only provide an exhibition space to feature Kiefer’s paintings, it also offers an unusual touch to the cognition of history and reality for the study of art history and art creation.

The Central Academy of Fine Arts and the co-sponsors have attached great importance to the promotion of the exhibition. President of Central Academy of Fine Arts Fan Di’an stressed that the exhibition would highlight Kiefer’s features in the presentation of content and public display, he went to introduce Keefer’s academic background in depth and offer creative clues. Wang Huangsheng, Director of CAFA Art Museum, the Chinese co-curator of the Anselm Kiefer Exhibition in China introduced the basic situation of the exhibition: it will feature 87 works by Kiefer, covering all the language types, and presenting the artistic features of Kiefer; some of the works are as high as five meters and very heavy. CAFA Art Museum will use the best space and exhibition walls for the arrangement of the exhibition. A series of academic activities will be organized around the exhibition, including seminars, lectures, public education, publishing, etc., to promote the further interpretation and research on Kiefer in China.

Kiefer’s works are full of grand, magnificent, dignified spatial fields with a strong visual power, it also breaks the boundaries of the material, soil, cement, stones, asphalt, plastic, twigs, dried flowers, straws, etc., all participate in the construction of works. In addition to visual power, Kiefer’s art also brings people’s attention to the reaches of common history, to the depth of individual memory and his works discuss the issues of war, nationality, collective consciousness, culture, mythology and legends, etc., the use of various ways to constantly re-evoke people’s reflection on them, to tingle the nerves of the nation’s collective memory.

We jointly anticipate the “Anselm Kiefer in China” opening at CAFA Art Museum on November 19.

Text by Zhang Wenzhi, Photo by Yang Yanyuan/CAFA ART INFO

Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO 

(Images of the works courtesy of the organizer)

Anselm Kiefer in China (Tour Exhibition in Beijing)

Duration: November 19, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Venue: 3A and 3B Gallery, CAFA Art Museum

Chief Curator: Prof. Dr. Beate Reifenscheid (Germany)

Co-curators: Lu Xiaobo, Wang Huangsheng, Ma Yue, Gu Chengfeng

Assistant Curator: Jin Xu

Academic Guidance: Central Academy of Fine Arts

German Organizer: Bell Art Center, Germany

Chinese Organizer: Central Academy of Fine Arts, the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University, Yi Ming Oriental Culture Media, Baijiahu International Cultural Investment Group

Supporting Organizations:

Beijing Jin Shangyi Art Foundation, China Academy of Art, Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts

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