The Royal Academy of Arts, in collaboration with White Cube, presents a sculptural installation, entitled Jericho, by one of its most eminent Honorary Academicians, Anselm Kiefer. Created especially for the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard, the sculpture consists of two towers measuring 14 and 16.5 metres high respectively. Kiefer determined their height and situation to best work with the classical architecture of the Academy’s courtyard.
The towers are constructed from reinforced concrete components arranged in a series of tiers or floors and the walls are shuttered using steel containers for the formwork. There are doorways in some of the walls, and the floor pieces have a rough open centre allowing the viewer to look up from the base unit to the sky through a series of levels.Each concrete piecehasvisible reinforcement bars protruding from them and there is a deliberate rough-hewn texture to the finish.
Kiefer has explored the theme of towers previously; having constructed similar towers in Barjac, France and also created a series of towers from 2003-2004 for a permanent and dramatic installation in a disused Pirelli factory building in Milan. Lead books, which have also long been an important element within Kiefer’s work, will be used to prop up corners of some of the wall pieces thereby giving the towers the appearance of being disjointed and precarious.
The sculptures coincide with Kiefer’s exhibition Aperiatur terra at White Cube Mason’s Yard, 26 January – 17 March. The exhibition of new works includes a major sculptural installation, Palmsonntag, comprised of eighteen paintings, hung as a single entity on one wall, with a thirteen metre palm tree laid on the gallery floor. In the lower gallery, four epic canvases are hung to form a second installation.