Yesterday, I went to the RA to see Anselm Kiefer's retrospective exhibition. I had previously watched the documentary presented by Alan Yentob, imagine...... Winter 2014-5 Remembering the Future, and I was so fascinated by this artist, that I couldn't wait to see these works for real. If you live in the UK, and missed this programme, you can watch on iplayer here, for another 8 or 9 days.
I hadn't come across Anselm Kiefer's work before, and I'm finding it very difficult to put into words my feelings about what I saw in this show, but to see how this man has explored his deepest thoughts, feelings and ideas on the Holocaust, religion, his own spirituality, and some of the most profound questions we all ask ourselves about our existence on this planet left me feeling completely awed and reeling with admiration for the dedication he shows to his art.
As I left the exhibition, the phrase going around in my head was, 'So, this is REAL art, this is what it is all about!' However, 24 hours later, I am realising that the word 'Art', is just an umbrella word, and that art comes in many forms and guises, something which is very obvious really, and something which I have always realised, but not bothered to really think about, until now that is.
I found some of Kiefer's huge canvases in this show quite disturbing, and certainly not the sort of images I would want hanging on my walls at home. However for me, they have provided a window into the soul of a human being who wants to share with those of us who are willing to look, the emotions, ideas, explorations, questions, and the horrors as well as the joys that are all a part of being a human being.