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State Opera: Anselm Kiefer’s New Iron Curtain

State Opera: Anselm Kiefer’s New Iron Curtain

The new Iron Curtain at the Vienna State Opera was designed by the eminent German painter Anselm Kiefer, who is also making headlines these days with a film portrait of artist Wim Wenders.

“Solaris” is the name of the work on view today at the State Opera House, in which Kiefer references Stanislaw Lem’s novel of the same name in a 176-square-metre space. You should be able to immerse yourself in a vast ocean through the works of Kiefer, who is never afraid of monumental works.

“The list of artists who have performed on the Iron Curtain so far is an impressive list,” State Opera director Bogdan Rusic recalled during today’s performance. The list of names ranges from John Baldessari to David Hockney to Maria Lassnig.

Roland Schlager/APA

Anselm Kiefer in front of his work “Solaris”

“The artist who left a deep mark”

“Today we are joined by an artist who has made particularly profound traces in the art world over the past 50 years,” Rusic said of the 78-year-old Kiefer. The curtain’s accompanying text, “The Iron Age,” comes from Christoph Ransmeier.

Since 1998, as part of a series of exhibitions designed by Museum in Progress, the original Iron Curtain by former NSDAP member Rudolf Eisenmenger (1902-1994) has been covered with an annually changing work attached by magnets.

“Opera is not completely new to me,” said Kiefer, whose work as a set designer has not yet been seen at the Vienna Opera, but was seen in the Burgtheater’s production of “Oedipus at Colonus” (2003). When asked if he would also design a set for the opera house, Kiefer said with a laugh: “I haven’t been asked yet.”