The Public Art Fund, Gagosian and Tishman Speyer unveil Anselm Kiefer: Uraeus in the Channel Gardens.
This site-specific, 20-foot tall installation consists of a gigantic open book with eagle’s wings that span 30-feet, made from lead with a stainless steel column. At the base of the installation, a cluster of oversized books, appearing as if scattered ~ some open, each with great detail.
The title of Kiefer’s sculpture ~ Uraeus ~ refers to the Egyptian cobra extending upward on the column. The artist associates this part of the sculpture with the serpent goddess Wadjet, a symbol of power and divine authority.
The wings of Uraeus evoke the headdresses and necklaces worn by Egyptian royalty, in homage to the vulture goddess Nekhbet. As the first site-specific outdoor public sculpture commissioned in the United States, Kiefer bestows the symbolic guardians with these two goddesses, who were guardians of Lower and Upper Egypt, and following ancient Egypt’s unification, became the joint patrons of the civilization.
Best said by Public Art Fund, “In Kiefer’s imagination, word and image, sacred text and icon, have the power to soar upwards, transcending reality and offering hope of redemption. Uraeus is both gigantic lectern and altar. The presence of the snake that insinuates itself at the foot of the column introduces an element of danger and death, as if the monument is being undermined. Yet in more than one mythology the serpent is a creature of wisdom and secret knowledge. Kiefer’s wide-ranging art, which embraces historical memory, politics, religion, and myth, is layered with such multiple meanings and paradoxes.”
Anselm Kiefer: Uraeus is presented by Gagosian and organized by Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer. It is curated by Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator, Nicholas Baume. The installation will be on view from May 2 to July 22, 2018 at the Fifth Avenue entrance to Rockefeller Center’s Channel Gardens between 49th and 50th Streets.
Public Art Fund Talks at the New School: Anselm Kiefer will take place on Monday, April 30th from 6:30 to 8:00pm at The New School, Tishman Auditorium, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, NYC
Explore 36 more installations, events & exhibits not-to-miss during the month of May.