Galerie Thomas

Tuerkenstrasse 16
80333 Munich

+49 89 290008-0
+49 89 290008-88

Opening hours

Monday – Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm

Alchemy, mythology, art

Günther Förg - Untitled (diptych)
In the oeuvres of Anselm Kiefer and Günther Förg, lead is both an important material and a fundamental symbol. Galerie Thomas presents three works by the two important German artists in which this metal plays a leading role.

The unique texture of lead, which is heavy, naturally toxic, yet soft and malleable, offers an incomparable surface on which the infinite possibilities of the medium of painting are revealed. With Kiefer it also becomes a plastic material and embodies a paradox in both of his presented works: the airy dress of the bride of the wind is made from the enormously heavy lead, as is Kiefer's plane - the property of the material completely contradicts the essence of the things that were formed from it.

Förg, on the other hand, was particularly fascinated by the material properties of lead and its ability to react with organic chemical substances: “I really like the properties of lead - the surface, the heaviness. Some of my paintings have been completely painted and you can only see the lead on the edges, this gives the painting a very heavy feel - it gives the color a different density and a different weight."

But it was not just the material properties of lead that attracted Kiefer and Förg: lead also has a deep symbolic meaning, to which both artists refer. In alchemy, lead is the “materia prima”, the starting material for the transformation of the base into the noble, the lead into gold. This highest goal of the alchemists not only served the material transformation, but also stood symbolically for the spiritual metamorphosis of man. Because of its properties, lead has been assigned to Saturn since ancient times, which in turn is the guiding star of melancholics: thoughtful, brooding, but also enormously creative and poetic people - the artists!


"Art, mythology, is another form of knowledge."
- Anselm Kiefer