Atelier as creative forge, scientific laboratory, anthro-alchemical, library, personal archive, Wunderkammer, device, polygon, small town in which imagination becomes thought and gesture. Among the greatest contemporary artists, Anselm Kiefer has succeeded in doing something that, in grandiosity and ambition, has few comparisons: giving voice to an epic profundity, he has transformed his studios, the spaces in which he materially creates paintings and sculptures, into interminable works of art. In a unique book, enriched by more than seventy photographs (many of them by Kiefer himself), Vincenzo Trione visits these mysterious and inaccessible places like an enchanted pilgrim, accompanying the reader on a privileged itinerary into the artist's mind-atelier.
In Barjac and Croissy, France, Kiefer has singlehandedly built authentic museum-workshops-archives-cities where, like a modern Prospero, he shapes and makes his visions real. Between towers resembling the famous Seven Heavenly Palaces and catacombs carved out of the rock, between theaters reminiscent of those of ancient Greece and hangars used for hypothetical exhibitions, Kiefer has set up authentic cosmogonies that seem to mimic the mechanisms of the mind. In them, the nightmares of the twentieth century are juxtaposed with illuminations of alternative futures. It is difficult to explain to those who have not visited them what these places are, the power they enclose, the overflowing variety of materials they hold. And there are few who have inhabited them: among them, Vincenzo Trione who with Prologo celeste writes a unique book, enriched by more than seventy images (many of them by Kiefer himself). Like a curious and wandering traveler, capable of placing the history of twentieth-century art in resonance with philosophy, mysticism, literature, and the history of the twentieth century in order to make the infinite suggestions underlying the works submerge, Trione delivers an original critical account, in which he accompanies the reader inside the ateliers in a true alchemical journey. Animated by an epic vocation, Kiefer, from time to time, becomes Prometheus, Hephaestus and Sisyphus. These are the three great mythical figures that orient an unforgettable crossing of the skies by Anselm Kiefer.
Publication date: 28.11.2023
Number of Pages: 360