Erotik Im Fernen Osten Oder: Transition From Cool to Warm
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Kiefer has revitalized and brilliantly used the book form as a means of artistic expression.
“Includes superb reproductions of each of the series, sixty-five watercolours, as well as images from other books by the artist.
Anselm Kiefer is best known for his brooding forests and somber fields encrusted with debris, for his haunted monuments reeking of the Nazi past. This series reveals a wholly different side to the artist, showing that he adores landscapes with the same admiring eye as he adores the contours of a woman’s body.
During 1974, Kiefer lived and worked on the coast of Norway, where the sea and landscapes entranced him. Using his photographs as an aide-memoire, he created a sequence of images that incorporate his deepest aesthetic and philosophical concerns to form a book he called Erotik in Fernen Osten oder: Transition from cool to warm.
In lyrically expressive seascapes and landscapes, rendered in deep blue, violet and purple tones that capture the frigid atmosphere of the Norwegian winter, icebergs, ships and magical skies abound. As this sequence gives way to lush female nudes, the palette grows brighter, creating a virtual explosion of colour and form that beautifully evokes seasonal changes.
The spontaneity and simplicity of these images confirm what Stebbins and Ricci assert in their introduction, that Kiefer “warns against intellectual as opposed to visceral understanding“.