La vie secrète des plantes

Anselm Kiefer, Wolfgang Laib, Joseph Beuys, Lothar Baumgarten

July 6 – November 5, 2017

As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations for the Pompidou Centre, Lambert Collection is hosting one of the most iconic works by Anselm Kiefer, a major figure on the international art scene and the Lambert Collection.

In 2003, thanks to the generosity of Yvon Lambert, The Secret life of Plants, a monumental installation of 10 paintings on frames over which intermingle paint, branches, wire and lead sheeting, became part of the Pompidou Centre’s national collections. 

At a time when this Paris institution celebrated its 40th anniversary, it was only natural for the Lambert Collection to become involved with this anniversary project by exhibiting in the high-ceilinged room of its new spaces, the monumental work of this great German artist who Yvon Lambert helped get established in France, where he still lives and works, and whose work he champions in his Paris gallery. 

Some of Anselm Kiefer’s prestigious works from the collection’s stock have been included in this ensemble of major works, as well as works from other German artists, the most important figures in the contemporary art scene, taken from public and private collections: Joseph Beuys whose pupil was Anselm Kiefer, at the famous school Dusseldorf School as well as Lothar Baumgarten and Wolgang Laib for whom the artist has particular admiration to the point that he opened one of his famous wax corridors in his workshop/living space in Barjac in the south of France.

Through the sensitive dialogue initiated between the works of these artists, The Secret life of Plants alternately summons up History, ancient myths and the philosophies of the stars, and in a cosmogony that pays homage to the power of nature, the poetic relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm unveils room by room, the secrets of a universe where magical and essential interactions between the earthly world and that of the stars unfolds. 

Austerity and profusion thus draw the contours of a relationship of man to nature and to his own essence where only the poetry of experience opens the way to a common reflection on existence.

“In 2017, the Centre Pompidou is celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout France. To share the celebration with a wider audience, it will be presenting a completely new programme of exhibitions, outstanding loans and various events throughout the year. Exhibitions, shows, concerts and meetings will be staged in 40 French cities in partnership with museums, contemporary art centres, performance halls, a festival, a key player in France’s cultural and artistic fabric and many more. At the crossroads of different disciplines, like the Centre Pompidou, this programme show the Centre Pompidou’s commitment, since its creation, side by side with the cultural institutions throughout France – essential players in the dissemination and development of art in our time.”