Walhalla, Anselm Keifer at White Cube

Walhalla, Anselm Keifer at White Cube

Sometimes trying to describe art is a self-defeating exercise, as it is the atmosphere and emotions created by experiencing the work that are key. If you are in London this weekend try and get to see this Anselm Keifer exhibition at the White Cube, Bermondsey. ‘Walhalla’, as the title suggests, mixes norse gods and germanic myths with Keifer’s post apocalyptic visions and the long shadow of war. Encompassing vast canvases, huge vitrines, installations and sculptures, Keifer explores his themes using a myriad of materials including lead, zinc, broken glass, plants, fabric and photos. Taken as a whole, the show invokes a sense of foreboding, dread and despair, but is it a warning or a premonition?

‘With his awe-inspiring new exhibition, Keifer’s time has come, and not in an agreeable way. He told us history was a nightmare. He tried to show that reason has rarely ruled the world. His art has been one long warning that liberal democracy is a frail moment of light surrounded by forests of shadow and evil. Who can say Keifer’s grave and haunted vision of history as a mad ride on a ghost train is overstated, now that we see the demons of nationalism and racism on the rise?’

Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, 21st Nov’ 2016

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