TEFAF Online will take place in the time slot of TEFAF New York from November 1-4. This edition is a digital marketplace where every exhibitor is invited to showcase one highlight representing their expertise in the top segment of the art market. Every highlight presented at TEFAF Online is vetted by an independent vetting committee composed of the most respected experts in the field.
We have chosen Anselm Kiefer's work 'Die Ordnung der Engel', which builds a bridge from contemporary art to the art and religion of the Middle Ages and provides an exciting opportunity to explore the origins of art and human history.
The work refers to an ancient theological text by Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite of the same title, which dates back to 650-725 BC. In this text the author is discussing the order of the angels and how they would work for god on earth but also beyond and how these angels would also protect god. His writings have had influence not only on the further development of Christian but also on Jewish religion. Essentially these theories show how mankind has been trying to make sense of the transcendental and the paranormal already 2000 years ago. Kiefer does not want to present an image that tells an easily identifiable story tough. His goal is to throw the viewer back onto what mankind is. He wants us to look at his work and to search for meaning. Even if 2000 years of further development and technological advancement lie behind us since this early religious text, we still don’t have explanation for many things and while we get distracted by so many things and while each one of us is more specialized than ever it seems more relevant than ever not to deny our senses. The earth is represented by the heated and broken up clay, which is used at the bottom of the work in a manner very typical for the artist. Little jerseys and dresses strive up to the sky. These are not pure white though and Kiefer also rejects depicting the angels like the old-masters would have done in order to avoid any sweetness. The angels have had work to do and their dresses show traces of the dirt and the many tough jobs they had to do while on earth and on their way back to god. Although Kiefer mainly uses dark and earthy colours, the work has a festive brilliance. The dresses are presented in front of the black of the night and these as well as the rusty areas in between those dresses create for movement towards the upper end of the work. It is an uplifting work with a lot of positivity, a belief in god but foremost a belief in the important questions that mankind needs to ask and that the artist reminds us of.
Register for TEFAF Online here