KIEFER, ANSELM (b. 1945) Die Ungeborenen.
Paris: Yvon Lambert, 2002. First edition, copy 73 of 108 examples for sale signed by Kiefer in pencil (plus 20 hors commerce, ten artist copies, ten unnumbered copies ad personam, and ten copies from an édition de tête. Self-wrappered in leporello form, rear folds backed with a lettered cream buckram spine, the whole housed in the original metal box prepared by Christian Chopinaud, with the colophon leaf mounted to the interior of the lid (as issued). 11 15/16 x 9 1/8 inches (30.4 x 23.2 cm); with eighteen digital prints with ash and lead collage by Kiefer. Fine condition.
Issued by Yvon Lambert, who has issued many significant photobooks , this work appears to have gone out of print almost immediately upon publication, and we are unaware of any copies that have been offered at auction. Kiefer is among the most important German artists of the post-War period, and while he has long been interested in the book (with numerous sculptural objects based on the codex form, notably his lead books), he has issued little in the form of editioned livres d'artistes.
Die Ungeborenen (literally "The Unborn") is a theme that Kiefer has explored profoundly through major paintings and photographs for at least twenty years. He has enigmatically described the term as "the desire of not wanting to be born," and this work, with its haunting earthly and cosmic views scattered with ash, with doll-like totemic lead garments affixed, hints at some liminal, bardo-like state of unbeing.
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