Anselm Kiefer, White Cube January 2017


I was passing White Cube having been to Drawing Room and I thought I’d pop in.  It was one of five galleries I visited that day and was definitely the most disappointing.  From the advertising, images of the work certainly looked interesting but in person I was surprised that I found my response to be far more extreme.  I found the work distasteful and crass – not because of the subject matter but because everything felt so over-worked.  It felt more like an exhibition of the artist’s ego rather than a show with integrity…I couldn’t figure out why I felt that way when everyone around me seemed in awe.

Everything was larger than life and to me, over-worked. The materials were densely (overly) laid on, there seemed to be a bit of everything on the canvas.  From a distance there were a couple of pieces that looked impressive, however, it was the close up interaction that I found repellant.  There were also pieces of work that simply seemed to show poor draughtsmanship – it seems strange making these sorts of comments about a well-known artist – it’s just that I have never felt such a strong need to get out of an exhibition before.

One tutor said in reviewing art we should ask why it is art rather than why it isn’t.  I am not disputing the validity of this as art, there are clearly complex processes and clever methods employed to pull this all together.  It just doesn’t move me in a positive way, and the negative response I feel isn’t a response about the subject matter, rather the way it has been put together.

So I am not sure what to make of this one….I’ve a feeling most people would say I have completely missed the point…


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