Monday, December 13, 2010

The Power of Art


We all have the great opportunity to see endless amounts of art 24/7 online. I am tremendously lucky to also be able to see a wealth of art in person, in the museums, galleries, and auction houses in NYC. I never take this for granted.

But in truth, I am often underwhelmed. I see many works that do not move me. But every so often, an artist, an exhibit, or a single artwork knocks me over and reminds me of the true power of art. And this just happened when I visited Anselm Kiefer's exhibition 'Next Year in Jerusalem' at the Gagosian Gallery.

Like a cabinet of curiosities, this show is literally filled floor to ceiling with fascinating, emotionally powerful, and jaw dropping objects. The exhibit knocked me over like a hurricane. This is not 'pretty' art. But it does what art does best: it made me think, it made me feel, it made me rememeber, and it made me once again love the power of art.

You can read my more detailed review of the exhibition which will give you a better idea of the context of this haunting show in this post at NearSay. And because photography was actually allowed, you can join me on a walk through this amazing event.
























40 comments:

cerulean said...

Yes, like a hurricane. Great post. On youtube there´s a lot more about his work.

Dyche Designs said...

WOW, that's my kind of art. So striking I bet it was amazing in person.

Isabel said...

Great photos, Seth!
Kiefer's art....mmm...truly inspiring!
And the space was perfect for it. I am still translating what we saw into my own creative process. It is the kind of art you feel like revisiting again and again as you will always see and discover something new...

Karen Cole said...

A perfect way to revisit this amazing exhibit. I go back to my photos of the "typewriter" often. For some reason that image spoke to me more than any other. Your tour highlights were well chosen and your thoughts beautifully said.

Thank you for the heads up Seth.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

The texture alone is amazing......I can't find words just for the photos; in person it must have just been awesome. (and I hate that overused word...)

Thanks for posting~~delightful!

XXOO~~
Anne

Lisa said...

bold, chilling, powerful and undeniable...thanks for sharing. one of your best tours yet.

rivergardenstudio said...

wow Seth, what incredible shots, and amazing work... roxanne

Marie said...

Thanks for the great photos and post!
That the art objects are encased in glass makes them all the more powerful as if focusing on their inner transparencies. More than anything Kiefer's art seems shamelessly honest like a brutal winter sun that refuses to hide a single thing while insisting upon giving every bit of life its' proper due.

Karin Bartimole said...

I can 'hear' the passion you feel about this work and that alone gets my attention, then you share your feelings and photos of such amazing textures and layers, raw and battered - I understand! I am intrigued by the fact that they are enclosed in glass. I'll have to see if you address that in your review. It creates a separation/barrier that I think I might wish wasn't there... very interesting works - thanks Seth!

priti.lisa said...

WoW.
And you sved my favorite for last.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Thank you Seth. I may never get to see his works in person, so it was so kind of you to take us along.

A lot of art is not my cup of tea either. But I keep looking so I find the art that does amaze me, make me stop and take a deep breath, or stay with me for a long, long time.
And while all art doesn't thrill all of us, most art makes some one glad they saw it. ;o)

Outside The Lines said...

Great post Seth! Amazing work! Lucky you to be in NY, where there is so much art to see!

luthien said...

thanks for sharing Seth! we seldom (actually close to none) get exhibitions this powerful and intriguing here ... love your photographs, already the art is jaw dropping. if only i could have been there in person, i probably never leave!

stregata said...

This is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Jaime Haney aka ArtsyFartsy.Me said...

very thought provoking. thank you for sharing.

rebeca trevino said...

very powerful indeed.

Kim Palmer said...

Ah yes, underwhelmed, that happens more often than I would like too. This however is something else. I popped over to view the exhibition on the galleries web pages after viewing the taste you gave us here. Wow now I wish I could experience it first hand. It is very confrontational and powerful over the web so it must be quite something in person. There's quite an emotional reaction to the destruction conveyed here. Definitley one of the best exhibitions of the year even if I can't see it first hand! Thanks for the tour Seth!

ArtPropelled said...

Wow! Wow! I really enjoyed this post, Seth. Amazing work.

Coffee Messiah said...

Excellent and surely breathtaking in person.

Thanks & Cheers!

Gillian McMurray said...

Thank you for sharing this. It is certainly mind stretching stuff. I was interesting in your view of art as something that made you feel. I have always thought of art as something that makes me feel good and I have little time for the stuff that makes me feel like vomiting (sorry - that might be a bit graphic). But you are right. This kind of art does make me think about things I wouldn't have done otherwise and that has to be a good thing. So today I have learned a new way of looking at art. Thank you.

Marit said...

I know Kiefer from his big paintings, that are awesome, but I never saw objects like this from him. OH WOW Seth! You're a lucky guy, living in a place where you can actually see this IRL!!! Thanks for sharing your visit - I'm in ooh and aah!

neva gagliano said...

AW, seth....thank you for "bringing this to us"...it's powerful even in the photos....imagine walking into and through these works. much to be told and felt.

Gwen Buchanan said...

oh yeah, I would love to be standing there in person soaking this in.

Sherry said...

powerful
I've often wondered, is it art if it doesn't cause an emotional or mental reaction?

layers said...

Anselm Kiefer has been one of my favorites for years now-- I have seen a few of his pieces in person and they are very powerful and moving.. I have a book ANSELM KIEFER PAUL CELAN- Celan is the poet who writes about the holocaust-- very powerful book.
I wish I lived in NYC to see this exhibit in person- thank you for sharing all the images.

mansuetude said...

the first image (saw on Robyn's tumblr) this morning, dropped my heart an inch. It iS BEAUTIFUL! And poetic, but points to so much history

thank you.

am curious now about Donna's book, both Celan and Kiefer both hit me, and this work seems of the Holocaust to me as well.

Lynn said...

He is facinating. I went to the longer review and read more about this artist there. Wow. I am on overwhelm right now. Would love to have the experience of being there. Thanks for this introduction and for taking such wonderful photos of the art. Truly amazing and moving to say the least. I hope it comes back to San Francisco.

Twiggers said...

ahhh wonderful. Who doesn't miss exhibitions like this that genuinely move you to thought and emotion.

The 12th image down is so powerful, this is the level of art i aspire to and hope one day to find myself creating.

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

~Babs said...

A wonderful post, Seth!
I have seen his work in person,,,and practically had to be dragged out.
I find so often that the 'unpretty' art is what fascinates me.
Thanks for your Blog,,,I come here often, though usually without time to comment.I appreciate your large input very much!

Dave said...

I agree with you about being "underwhelmed" as of late with what is called art...but then again who is to say it isn't.... This exhibit looks wonderful...thanks for sharing! And the fact that you could actually photograph it is incredible! I was at our Taft Museum last week and wanted so much to photograph the vintage Christmas exhibits....probably should have asked...

Sharmon Davidson said...

Awesome exhibit, Seth; thanks for taking us along for the ride. I've always found Kiefer's work to emotionally powerful- something raw and visceral about it- and you're right, not very pretty. Great!

Lisa Hoffman said...

Yeeeikes!
I love the staging, with the natural light pouring down on the glass cases.

Off to read more from you over at NearSay.

My keyboard has caught fire a time or two, come to think of it.....

Curio said...

WOW!

glimmering prize said...

I love this! amazing!

Leslie said...

This is spectacular, Seth. Thanks! I am SO going to see this.

Jo Archer said...

Anselm Kiefer is The Man.....enough said.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I was stunned by these photos. I'm off to see the article you wrote and very grateful that photos were allowed. This is truly moving and very appropriate at this time of year.

deb said...

I am so jealous... Kiefer... wish I lived closer to NYC!

angela said...

fantastic--love it

angela said...

Oh poop-- I missed it. I am not attentive enough to what's showing around town and usually find out after the fact.