Anselm Kiefer/David Chipperfield

I started the day by attending a discussion between Anselm Kiefer and David Chipperfield (mediated by Tim Marlow) about their attitudes and responses to architecture.   Sitting in a gallery dominated by an image of Albert Speer’s Berlin Chancellery in monumental, but picturesque, decay, it was obvious how much Kiefer’s art is preoccupied by the architecture of the past, including pyramids and ziggurats, and how much, as an artist, he is free to invent buildings which don’t necessarily work as buildings, towers which are piled up and do not, and never will, pass the tests of engineers;  whereas the poor architect – even one as great and inventive as David Chipperfield – is never accorded the time and the space for such freedom of invention, except at the Neues Museum in Berlin which mixes history and memory in a Kiefer-ish way.   I particularly liked the comment which was apparently made by Norman Foster about the German percent for art scheme that it was ‘lipstick on the gorilla’.

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