London

Anselm Kiefer

Anthony D’Offay Gallery

Anselm Kiefer’s paintings here are head-on depictions of architecture seen from inside and out. On a black-and-white printed paper inset, a daubed landscape in black, red, brown, and ocher shows a cone-shaped building; a kind of palace seems to radiate force from its walls to the surrounding countryside. As ever, the paint is smacked, smudged, and smeared, applied thickly like plaster and mixed with sand and straw. Yet the buildings themselves, cut paper shapes, deny expressionist emotion. Though the artist himself is absent Kiefer summons up the idea of art in his titles, inscribed as usual on the pictures themselves; the palace painting is called Dem unbekannten Maler—“To the Unknown Painter.” These curiously uncommunicative buildings, then, are imaginary monuments to Art. Other subjects are recognizable—Albert Speer’s Chancellery, for example, built for Hitler. Metaphors are mixed. A

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