In Preparation II: Anselm Kiefers „Maikäfer flieg!“


This three-part series of public conservation and restoration projects looks behind the scenes of museum work – specifically at the preparation work taking place in the lead-up to the opening of the new Nationalgalerie building at the Kulturforum. Maikäfer flieg! is one of eight works by Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945) in the Marx Collection, which has been shown at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin in rotating exhibitions. The Marx Collection focuses on works by Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Anselm Kiefer. It will have its own exhibition area in the new Nationalgalerie building.

Almost 50 years after its creation, the painting Maikäfer flieg! is being restored for presentation in the new building. Kiefer often uses raw materials such as lead, sand and straw in his works of art. Using thick layers of oil paint, he created color relief-like landscapes on burlap cloth in Maikäfer flieg!

The public conservation and restoration work gives visitors an insight into the work of conservator-restorers – from technological examination of the materials to the actual execution of conservation measures on the work. Techniques such as material examination via UV, VIS, and microscopic enlargement are applied in addition to the surface cleaning and consolidation (fixation) of the paint layer.

Video: Jasper Landmann