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Anselm Kiefer interview. Plus, New York auction "gigaweek"

The Art Newspaper Weekly

37:51 min | 1 year ago

Anselm Kiefer interview. Plus, New York auction "gigaweek"

"The newspaper put coasties. Brought to you in association with Bonhams. Auction is since seventeen ninety three to find out more visit bombs dot com. Hello and welcome to the art. Newspaper puck cursed. I'm Ben Luke. Thanks expert joining US later. In the past we take the temperature of the art market in New York auction week but I am still keefer. The German artist has a new show at the White White Cube Gallery in London. And typically. He's taking on big subjects this time the scientific concept known a string theory characteristically keefer explores this mathematical muddle little imbo sculpture and painting with a much broader cultural and historical framework looking back to ancient mythology are contemporary art correspondent. Louisa Buck went to what keep cheap to meet him so unsettling the title of this exhibition that fills white. Cuban Bergonzi is super strings. RUNES GNOMES Gordian Knot. I mean that's quite a lineup. This artists but let's just zero on the super strings. This particular body of work is largely underpinned by recent explorations in string theory. Can you just talk a bit about what's brought into string theory wife. I did this paintings about Mattis. Peration I kinda done a stint ten string theory. It's so complex and so difficult and I'm not a mathematician and I read about outs in. I think twenty five years. Perhaps a read about string theory in magazines at one magazine I have. It's called a MM spectrum and they're all the new discoveries in Mathematics Chemistry Physics and and I'm really leap fascinated because it's such a vast nola Julia who develops there and and and I can always sees a connection between the old meath and the new Future explorations in physics by example but string theory. As far as I know I go to limited knowledge of these things but it hasn't actually been empirically not proven by rules or formula yet. It's still up for interpretation. Not One formalized proven by experiments normally family of physicians. They they have an idea. They have an intuition Einstein head in nine thousand nine hundred seven also and the heaven new idea about the about the context of and then batiks time until it's proven by experiments and in the case of Einstein was proven once I think ten years later also and then he goes nobre overpriced because then they thought it's religious but concern exists string theory. Nothing is proven is that what appeals to you the fact that it started with intuition intuition and it hasn't actually been hammered down into a set of rules you know in the aren't nothing is provable. You cannot prove you can approve by the deduction that this thing is a best always better than the other you cannot you you you can pretend and art is potentially it's proof is almost like a literal illustration of strings literally their wrought in these thirty enormous veterans for me to hide that run down the central corridor of white cube full of a tangled mass of wires cords all kinds industrial wiring foaming strings intertwined with mathematical theories also written on the on the glass. Is this kind of literal. Tend to give some. I'm kind of expression to this. Intuitive Tangle of unresolved theory. It's naive you know then when you are naive you have big take advantage. You can do what you want. And it's I heard about strings and I started with the mathematics and then I had by accident I bought. My neighbor was an industrial plays simple to new property in devils off. Aw this this electric stuff in and I said don't be they know they have any anything away and I held at. It's my strings string. It's naive but then I had later when I had already done some paintings that came to Titian he came in in my studio. That's it can you imagine. A mathematician about string theory. I I liked it you know. I didn't need to prove the paintings assembly but it was a nice nice exit so also also with your tangle of strings also bring in references to ancient Nordic figures the nor death at the spinners of feints and also ancient runes ancient letters as well so you'll still weaving in literally as well as quickly mythology as well as science. Since I started to work. I saw that all the means you can find in north in edged into berea in the Baruch on. They're all connected you know and you can even prove how certain people's traveled school who are coming to Europe how they brought with them. How there was modified other meat and this is fantastic? So you know it's something ever strings it's everywhere you have to mean and they're all connected and interfering how important mm time potent is it for people coming to the exhibition I mean how much do they need to know. Do they need to know anything you know. I always say you have nothing to uh looked at the paintings. And if you are attracted Innova then then you can. You can study. But it's not necessary to have started. Before I the painting has to have a certain impetus certain brilliance and then and I know a lot of people who study now so come by and to me and let's to you know but it's not necessary to be to be touched by and the scale of your work is always colossal. Aw and in these works absolutely so I mean. There's one work that the Romani John Summation which fills up an entire room and scale seems to be a very crucial part for you to draw in the viewer. To draw. Skill has nothing to do with quality. Nothing no the scale is not too much importance importance. It's more a physical thing you know. I'm I'm physically remember again dancing painting and I can intel. Do these are medium sized paintings. I have in my studio paintings. They don't fit in him. So what I like Mike very much because they can sell them throughout these new works. We see mets runic forms. References string theory but always over the top of these apocalyptic bleak. Aw Barren landscapes seems to be so much part of your language now that we associated with the manor. You've done landscapes with flowers and other things but these baron bleak landscapes that we see here's exhibition seemed to be so much part of your practice. What is it about this particular imagery that real comeback getting extreme China? My landscapes grew growing. Wear something pretty dead. The ones in this job I look pretty good for you. It's that for me burning. Something the thing is we saw action. My paintings are lot because a disparate. Like me like me but but then they a half another of this election. You know Philosophi- like so much. It's IMMEL end. He say's just throughout this has to economic last breaking means also already resurrection and also. You've talked a lot about alchemy. Lca ME BEING SO CRUCIAL TO LURK LA- making base material into here are trials and gold. They do gold and I see these works. Very how much is being a part of that particularly new vitrine afoot of the kind of rubbish. This new property you've acquired being made into art. Yeah No I. He is Sir permanent. Transformation of materia into very dangerous process. You know because this was the chimneys chimneys in a lot of accidents and stuff and in the books you can read. It doesn't mean to make gold out of let it not mental spiritual and but it has hit nevertheless economic physical effects and your materials. Israel's current become very much associated with you lead Straw combed leaf. Why do you keep battalion to these very a similar materials again again? I mean I think of you. We think of lead strong. We think sunflowers these very particular material as well as paid candidate to paint on. Why US always right in coinage itself? I use material who has spirit inside I I don't I'm not a plateau honest things. There is the theory uses the system and the system keeps form to the material I think in materia is already spirit and so for me let has spirit and I know it because I discovered it by accident in my house because I had lead pipes and I was immediately fascinated and I didn't know nothing about I. It was a young almost twenty years old or so and but I see some some spill to impact and they're very physically evidence materials when in these works here in White Cube and sticks as Straw Straw that falling out sometimes. Almost the paintings seem to be a state of about leap often reentered the world. They they move onto the time you don't see too but they move said the Lux will ways unstable absolutely not simple view. Yes you know you cannot fix fix the painting on a certain state nobody's moves. How important is it for you to be physically making? These words obviously have many assistances czar. Numerous works but you go salivate among I paint myself for them. Yeah when I put the branches ranches on I have someone behind to who fix them. You know that I put it and I paint so no no no I do do the work and yours. You born in one thousand forty five so you steeped in the ruins of the Second World War and you know been been on. I was going into the Cave of the hospital because a lot of air rats and then in our house bumped can imagine they told me. That's really that's really the sewing machine. Later I worked with this machine in the sewing machine was standing upright on to talk about on the house was done. It's fantastic testing. Do you still feel to great extent. You are still playing in the ruins of our society ruins of Europe. The way in which things you're doing I think then Reid said wants to me on what you do goes back to try to you know you you compel impaled You experience then because then the experiences are the most deep ones and I think it's I'm my leg and also playground in budget two hundred acres also playground in the north of Paris as well and other vast vol- studio studio in the old Samaritan warehouse these almost it seems to me like artworks themselves as what a studio circling Barak. Why does that sound poor computer make these environments ornaments run? Just I think a painting alone. That painting needs around opinions about for this reason. I forbid to all my gurvey's to show my work on up chess because now them put together and they kill each other you you know and nominated photo me. The Avocado is as it show. It didn't but my ghetto is. They don't do it and I think it's all a process you know in in budget. I have a lot of buildings. Buildings with paintings watercolors sculptures and it changed all the time so I changed from these two days until so it's it's It's this big movement all the time and also you have the actual spaces amphitheater Jacques Towers so in a way they feed into the work and then also are expressed is works and then often selves. I made him like paintings. The towers I just started a little bit and then it was going on and on and then destroyed in Lee. The constructed acted. It's likely to pay him so since the nine hundred you've lived in France not in Germany. But you'll still very much associated as a German painter dealing with breath. Even though you draw always vast range of mythologies people still associate you very much of the German painter dealing with German imagery is not a problem for you. Do you feel constrained by that. No no because I'm a Kennedy and don't be Norwegian Legionella. Whatever no it's it's and if you wouldn't legal denies me as a German and it wouldn't be authentic I Perhaps I try to do to build. A house is due next Rhine under German side and the the one under on the French side. It's this big half inch term and perhaps it would be nice. We we need something similar in the UK at the Majo- having his show here at a very very problematic difficult time in Britain. To put it mildly. I mean. You'll oh famously. Very in favor of a united Europe you see yourself as I'm also very much as a European. So how do you feel at the moment in this current situation situation one of your paintings actually referred as it not the European Parliament is one painting shows. One thousand empty seats and This this I I took this this this image from my Pharma University studied law and so but I thought I need this like this because I thought string theory is all about. Instability has no fixed point on on moves. And when you look at the quarks. They moved differently if we if we don't do so it's all symbol of instability and then this European Parliament this really a symbol of instability to and you are in England at the moment which is as it's most unstable phases in living memory but you know other countries are unstable to know east. German government had problems then in Gerry opponent. It's it's very strange time now. And the America don't know what would happen and so I'm not pessimistic not optimistic I see the things from another from another point. I see that what happens happens. All the time and I started so much mythological material that I can say in certain times for example in geological times. That's all what can happen happen. Because there's enough time so if I would have enough time or would be possible these paintings at white cube appear immensely apocalyptic bleak. But you also say there are about Resurrection and Growth. Do you see them as actually having some. I'm kind of comment on the Times in which living you're so turbulent and so full problem no no I think that being and non being the nothing is i. Don't see them connor logic way. I see them into same time. When is the painting? It's from your resignation of painting so I cannot be stressed by my paintings light. It is but your Expression of string theory or expirations a connection string theory with myths these different myths of the deep past it seems like investigations trying to show the interconnectedness of things. Yeah but also perhaps to try and explain what does hold us all together. Are you trying to do that. I try always unreas- to find the formula of bird. I tried to do the last painting but I will not succeed but I try join well that seems like a perfect note on which to end. Thank you very much and so thank you for coming. In and some Kiefer's exhibition superstring Bruhns. The non school not is at the White Cube Gallery until the twenty sixth. The January twenty twenty will be back at the New York auctions after this the pool. Nash is renowned for visceral depictions. The horrors of trench warfare during the first World War. He's earliest images of the war. However painted in spring nineteen seventeen on convalescent? He tripped in the dark. And broken. Rib these works well together. Gentlemen tone. Though by no means sugar coated the were leaving the trenches of bombs modern British and Irish art sale in London. This it's a vector dunes that Nash exhibited in London's goupil gallery in Medan. Seventeen bottoms director of modern. British Vista. Dourson explains the Work Goupil Exhibition. We've let the artist limited experience of the at that time. You don't even in France for a few weeks before his accident even so have immediate impact on public starved of realistic images of life at the front. Let Nash deficient wards. These early works by national escape. Mostly Lecture said the emergence of leaving in the trenches reaching. There's a significant to find out more visit. BARNUM'S DOT com. Welcome back now. It's one of the biggest moments in the art calendar New New York Auction Week I'll deputy are marketed. To Margaret. Carrigan has been at Yorktown or weak and was joined by Scott Rayburn writes for the newspaper as well as the New York Times to discuss this week's events what it tells us about the market at the end of a remarkable decade so Scott you are a art market veteran very skilled at surveying during this rocky terrain that we all terse can we not use the word veteran. I wonder you know there's been a squeeze he's on consignment this season and they're down about twenty five percent going into this week on top of that. Confidence is low thing. Art Tactic said that it's data by about twenty percent. Just since May show. How are we seeing that? Play out this week in the sales okay in terms of actual results We've seen a big drop Impressions involved sales at Christie's falling from last May Christie's would I'm fifty two percent so the business down forty percents and then last night at Christie's so the contemporary sale down forty the percent. Now what everyone in the market says Autzen in you. Marcus says that I will. The thing is the right people hadn't died died. The right people can get divorced. It's all going to be fine. The next year because the Macleod voice consign oil. Come in. That's at least seven hundred million gene. So everything's fine and so you essentially have this mentality of the goldfish going around the bowl and and so that the goldfish goes around the back. The views not so great. But you're on the front. It's fine everything is the same and that in the sense is the big question about the art market. Is it the same. Is it all going to be fine. Is there a status quo that just continues and continues continues and the key thing is demand everyone talks about supply and saying well if the right supply comes along the figures will be great. It'll be fine I actually I. This is a big question but I just wonder about supply because Ah Nets did a very very interesting report which showed that when you look at total auction sales over the last ten years The high when you adjust for inflation Was In two thousand eleven. Not Six six point nine billion dollars since then toodle haven't even got within a billion so essentially it the the whole whole market is treading water at the same time. If you look at wealth reports The number of billionaires since the financial financial crisis since two thousand nine has doubled Now they're number wealth reports but one Won Miss Recent. Put the wealth of billionaires. This is just billionaire. This is not multimillionaires just nine trillion so billionaire suspending less than naught point one percent of the disposable wealth on a hot which is a minute mute amount now why hasn't the art market got further traction the when you walk around the other so meet new people coming into to the market that flooding in you the auctions you go to the office you see exactly the same people you see one or two new faces so what is concerning about the the market is everyone feels. Oh it's fine things just carry on normal but all the time more more wealthy people aren't buying and this is the art market has any number of elephants in the room but that's one of the bigger elephants so actually demand is not increasing using a matches a concern so this raises two questions for me which is one the reliability of auctions as the kind of benchmark of show the art mark is doing this is notoriously a fraught offcially. They own so I think when we're when we're looking at a slow season as in like we are right now in New York. I wonder how much we can temper our expectations when you're saying like we're treading water. Isn't that better than declining necessarily surly but then at the same time you're saying we are have been in decline like numbers in two thousand eleven so I guess it's how do we. How do we square that circle? Ercole there what I would say that. If you look at presumption that this series of sales the so-called gateway hate that Fraser husband but this so-called Mulkey ocoee series of sales. You look the numbers at the they start in two thousand fourteen. And that was a great season with it Koso- from Delta Elsa that made two point two billion then we had a high of two point. Three billion in two thousand seventeen gene in two thousand sixteen was down to one point one but essentially these sales are in a band of roughly one point eight to two point. Two billion this. This season may be down but that to my mind is that's treading water. I know statistics lie all the time but the difficult it. It doesn't indicate that the needle is moving to me and what kind of repercussions you think. That's going to have for the art market as a whole if we're just looking at the auctions now okay where do you. Where do you think that points us going forward? Well the thing is the Obviously the impression Multan cells. Now I'm old enough to remember. Nineteen eighty cells. where the Japanese and the black tie that? Which is the old Peter Wilson Model He? He really really changed the market with the gold. China's sale back in one thousand nine hundred fifty seven fifty eight of eighty one that completely changed the nature of the art market and it's essentially sleep in the same model since then evening sales to create as much international interest as possible. Then you go to some mold sale now and it's a very very very different thing. It's full of people of a certain age you didn't see young people the material because it's been so heavily traded There's very little fresh material There'll be one or two lots in an evening. That fly for example celebrates had a really beautiful Giacometti bust of Diego. That had sensational pattern Asian and it was great cars and that went nuts went Welt W. estimates from about thirteen point five. That's a great object. But that's just one lot you were there in the room in a lot after lot after lot cells Dell's to Single bid to Asia or Russian I don't know how long these people are going to the end of the market. And then when you look at the numbers as an investment vehicle. That's particularly interesting. Because at at Christie's that taught lot was that that lovely McGreevey it knocked turn now. That seem to do pretty well. It made fools nineteen point nine hundred point five with premium but the seller aborted privately. Five years before for twenty one. And if you drill into the numbers with Particularly Impressions Multan quite concerning because people aren't making money out of it and people were in a market where people actually must build and Care Valley on the all they just want to make money out of it and since they start. Stop making money. That is going to be a moment of concern. Came we talk a little bit about the postwar and contemporary market. Because we're halfway through those sales week we've got some other beasts night Christie's last night but Christie's was equally as may be concerning turning is the earlier sales this week. like you said forty percent Down and also forty percent of the lots went hammered on their lowest met. Waterlo yeah so it just shows even even leaner season that there's that people really aren't Getting up their pocket for this kind of work anymore and While they're a few record set last night For Charles White Thomas and Ellsworth Kelly and of course the ED every show you thank you. I wonder with as you're saying that the people aren't making money and contemporary art has been so hyped up in the past five years especially not really a as an asset class as we kind of reached this new plateau. Do you think that that demand will suffer there too and that we will see the financial financial ization chat around contemporary art slip. Well looking at the day sales isn't it because in the sense that's where the action is And there's a fascinating sort of what I call the spin cycle. There where you have autism really really really hot every wants to buy them I spoke to dealer who Josh Lily teric for jaw. Show show in London He said he had full hundred people wanting to buy that. God four hundred So on put around the results on the day styles and the trouble on the Self Bandwagon keeps on going alone. You know there was a very strong work actually estimator eight hundred three fifty. Now I've actually spoken to her about this. She's she's very concerned about this it's incredibly difficult and wearing syndrome. Young artists being turned over. Because there's just it's like it's like a washing machine isn't it that's a spin cycle And if you have the right connections and you're rich enough you get in at the beginning and then you get out in time And the rest is desperate to try and by the work and usually by too late and they get lumbered with this. And it's and this. This whole cycle whole this whole dynamic is very concerned for the market. As a whole I think with calls it's just bonkers and you had a really interesting piece that you actually usually root for for the art newspaper recently which is about kind of like populace Martin tasted are How how is that? Maybe shifted over the past few few years and how is that affecting the market his younger artists. Just wondering to what extent. S- those two wills into into sex. I think banks in Kohl's very very so separate markets from the super Super Hot markets will young anointed artists from fashionable galleries. I think not slightly different I wonder how long the calls things can go on for. I'm not sure sculptures particularly interesting. There was a big painting sculpture From edition of Ten plus two is estimated mated at three hundred made eight hundred thirty six thousand That the sculptured the paintings I sort of understand and but the sculpture. I just find completely anonymous and mad. Why is that well this thing and then his time you're going to be looking at the? This is losing me a Lotta money speaking city in the cool room make you look fool. I think Speaking of cause and banks You know we're obviously coming to the end of twenty nine thousand nine here moving into a new decade. Their markets have been the most astronomical made in the last decade. Are there some other artists that you know have had a miraculous rise or miraculous fall in some ways over the past decade or any larger your trends. That you've been noticing since you know. Obviously we were in a very different financial place. Sure back in two thousand nine right after the financial crash and now we're kind kind of staring down the barrel of possible. Recession trade war is brexit. The whole Shebang wonder if you're seeing any kind of trends that you can spot okay in the last ten years of the first thing to say though of course is the that there's no The people aren't losing any money right. Yeah the guessing guessing richer and richer and richer The that the context for all this is is Thomas Spaghetti wrote the script book called capital for century and antique came up with this one fulfilled relation which is aw is always greater than Jesus returns on capital are always greater than growth which is linked to contagious so the rich get richer and richer and richer so the money is all they just they just get distracted sometimes and they're a bit distracted moments and that's that's that's the the only problem no way but what is it from. The market is blue chip off and finding new blue chip artists because house Very interesting came back to this. Aunt net report on staggered to see that in the first half of two thousand nineteen coils made mort Olshan as you'll Michel Basquiat which is a bit of a moment. Now oversleep owners of of a Big Ticket buskers. Don't want to put them on the market and they're they're concerned okay. Let's understood but with with basketball top. Ask as not coming on the market. Warhol's Kuhn's the traditional blue chip where the auction houses GonNa make the numbers. So what I have noticed is the way. They're trying in to pump up secondary names as blue chip and in London in October album. Oland suddenly be was meant to be a great artist. uh-huh so we had to deal shows. We had Serpentine Gallery Exhibition which was sponsored by subsidies and Gagosian and there was a load of Alba Roland sales. which did all right? It didn't actually have a transformative effect. I think Edry Shea last night was another example of this Now he's interesting artist in academically and in terms of art history. That's in terms of Papa. You know he doesn't have the directs. The visual impact of Warhol Lichtenstein or Allen Jones Frogman. Say but what I thought was interesting was that they gave gave that painting. Take Pride of place where the Kuhn's Bundy had been in this shrine to blue chip timeless. Ause I thought they were really pushing the envelope there but on the other hand it made fifty two million now. Is that a reflection of well. Find the histories catching up with Trichet. All this just a hell of a lot of money in California. It's probably a mixture of the two but I think the trend next decade will be. The auction house is desperately trying to find blue chip names to replace Bacon Rick to all the others and I think they're struggling because we're not living living in a great period of I would say you can see it's videos from the New York auctions and all ladies reporting from the salesrooms at the art newspaper Dot Com or on our APP for IOS which you can find at the APP store on the website you can funding subscription to see you so that you can read reporting across multiple platforms and while you can also subscribe for free to our daily newsletter for all the latest stories take the newsletter linked at the top right of our homepage and each academy monthly newsletter called market I with comment and analysis every month for market experts in London and New York. They've forget forget. Subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already and if you've enjoyed it please rate or review it on apple podcasts. You can also follow us on twitter at Tan audio and we're on facebook and instagram. Of course the art newspaper cast is produced by Judy housekeeper. Amy Dawson and David Clack and David User does the editing thanks to Louisa an answer on to Maggie and Scots. What's thank you for listening? Join US next week where we'll be looking at DORMA and John Howarth. CNN The newspaper cost to you and associated with bonhams auctioneers since seventeen ninety three to find out more visit dot com.

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