Burning Rods – Anselm Kiefer – St. Louis Art Museum – Forest Park

One of my favorite pieces in the St. Louis Art Museum collection is Anselm Kiefer’s Burning Rods which Kiefer created after the Chernobyl disaster, and which is perhaps an equally apt reminder of the greater disaster that nearly was as a result of the earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan this past year (which was bad enough in any case).

The texture and details of this piece are amazing. Here is the description from SLAM’s web site.

Lead, straw, porcelain, and iron converge in a vast charred landscape of blackened furrows leading into a distant horizon. Created after the Chernobyl accident, this painting depicts a landscape ravaged by nuclear disaster. The painting’s monumental size and imposing physical bulk are matched by its ambition to address the profound issues of death, destruction, and renewal that are found in the experiences facing humanity today.”

Another favorite Kiefer piece of mine is currently in storage as the museum is throwing out a new wing (to be opened in 2013) and the vibrations from the construction were not playing nice with its delicate broken glass, or so said a docent today. Breaking of the Vessels commemorates Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany and is equally impressive in scope and detail.

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