Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles
Anselm Kiefer
2009 - mixed media on canvas and lead/ terracotta, lead/ charcoal on wall

Divided between two rooms, the German artist's overall installation takes its title from a well-known verse from Corneille's Le Cid. 
In the first room two enormous paintings show the celestial sphere portrayed on a thin sheet of lead applied to canvas. The sky is crossed by constellations and marked by the alphanumeric combinations used by NASA to identify stars. Ancient astronomical observatories can be seen below, and the heavens' are projected onto the ground, completely overturning the traditional ties between earth and sky. 
The smaller mezzanine room contains a pile of lead books surrounded by fragments of a terracotta vase.
On the wall, the Hebrew "Shevirah ha-kelim" is a quotation from the Kabbalah meaning "the breakage of the receptacles": it alludes to the disharmony among the original elements which caused light and energy to expand, in a chaotic way, during the Creation of the world. The choice of terracotta as a material holds together the ancient Kabbalah tradition and the disorder necessary for creation, thus the past and the future.

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