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Kiefer's interest in the alchemical process, representing the aspiration of a human being to an almost golden perfection of existence. According to the artist, in order to awake from the past and find a new spiritual dimension, a person has to pass through various stages of mutation; art is an instrument to facilitate this step and rebirth. For this reason, in his paintings and sculptures, Kiefer makes use of symbolic materials and processes like lead and electrolysis, gold and salt, which in ancient tradition were used for a metaphorical transformation of self. In documenting the entire panorama of the power of the image as laboratory for understanding through about 250 works dating from 1969 to 2011, this book offers a comprehensive visual reflection of the artist on the theme of alchemy and the Kabbalah; esoteric teachings in which an impulse towards reawakening and a greater awareness of the individual and of his culture is laid bare. The book, edited by Germano Celant, is being published on the occasion of the Salt of the Earth exhibition at the Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova in the Magazzino del Sale, Venice. It includes not only the artist's works, but also texts by international scholars who have over the years contributed towards an analytical and theoretical investigation of the relationship between Kiefer's ouvre and these initiatory processes. Texts by: Michael Auping, Heiner Bastian, Marie-Laure Bernadac, Germano Celant, John Hallmark Neff, John Hutchinson, Christian Kaemmerling, Donald Kuspit, Roland Recht, Mark Rosenthal, Peter-Klaus Schuster, Jean-Marc Terrasse. Germano Celant, renowned art historian, critic, and theoretician, has served as the curator of hundreds of exhibitions worldwide and published more than one hundred books and catalogues. The director of the Fondazione Prada, Milan, since 1995, Celant is also the curator of the Fondazione Aldo Rossi in Milan, the curator of the Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova in Venice, and the curator of art and architecture at La Triennale di Milano. He was the Senior Curator of contemporary art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York from 1989 until 2008, the artistic director of the first Biennale di Firenze (1996) and the curator of the 47th Venice Biennale (1997), and artistic supervisor for Genoa's year as European Cultural Capital in 2004, among many other exhibitions. A longtime contributing editor to Artforum and Interview Magazine, Celant writes regular columns for the Italian magazines l'Espresso and Interni. He received the Frank Jewett Mather Award, honoring exceptional art criticism, in 1987. Bookseller Inventory # 2351732


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