One of the most important artists of our time, Anselm Kiefer’s current installation, Finnegans Wake at White Cube Bermondsey overwhelms with its sheer scale and density. I can well believe that 18 container trucks brought the work in for installation.
We’re used to seeing the cabinets and drawers filled with different objects, the lead books and ledgers, the desiccated sunflowers and poppies; debris stacked up and sometimes threatening to topple over.
There is beauty in all this as well as Joyce’s humour
Not many London galleries have the space to show this type of work.
And of course there are the paintings. Massive and imposing with the smell of oil paint.
I went with a friend who doesn’t really follow contemporary art. He was baffled to begin with yet became drawn in as we progressed through the gallery spaces. He told me later that it kept returning to him for days afterwards.