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The inaugural exhibition in the new Monumenta series opened this week at the Grand Palaisand is devoted to the work of German artist Anselm Kiefer. Under the title Sternenfall (Falling Stars), the spectacular installation created specially for its five-week run (through June 8, 2007) at the Grand Palais is dedicated to the poets Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann.
Kiefer, who lives in Barjac in southern France, has housed his works in seven temporary houses apparently placed at random in the light-filled space of the massive exhibition hall. It’s a thought-provoking meditation on nature, life cycles, the cosmos, mythology, and history, inspired by sources as diverse as the Bible and Aztec civilisation. The overall effect is one of great emotional power, partly generated by the juxtaposition of opposing elements: ferns alongside concrete bunkers; sunflowers wrought from iron sprouting from the walls of a concrete tower. Or the obsessively repetitive images of rusty boats amid stormy seas, which inspire an unexpected sense of jubilation.
Monumenta will showcase American sculptor Richard Serra in 2008 and French artist Christian Boltanski in 2009.
Free audio guides are available. Entrance fee: €4
Nef du Grand Palais, avenue Winston-Churchill, 75008
Open Monday, Wednesday from 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Noon-midnight from Thursday-Sunday. Closed Tuesday.