Fur Velimir Chlebnikov, 2005
For years, the Russian poet Velimir Chlebnikov (1885 – 1922) was a source of inspiration for Kiefer, who has devoted several series to him. Chlebnikov, considered to be one of the founders of Russian futurism, was an avid poet, writer, researcher and theoretician.
His fixation on historical events and mathematics led him to develop a theory that the number 317 sets the frequency of major land and naval battles. Kiefer used this idea as the basis to create Für Velimir Chlebnikov, which represents an immense sea of earthy, rusty colours, evoking shipwrecks after a battle. A book made of lead breaks the high horizon of this sea. The book represents culture, the only element that can save us from brutality according to the artist.