Sternenfall (Falling Stars), 2007. Site-Specific installation at the Grand Palais, Paris. Photo: Marc Domage. Courtesy Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication.

Anselm Kiefer’s Falling Stars

“Monumenta” is a new annual exhibition conceived around a building: the Grand Palais in Paris, on the Champs-Élysées at the Avenue Winston Churchill. Originally built in 1900 for the Paris Exposition, the great glass and steel structure suffered from neglect over time and was closed in 1993 after a glass roof panel fell. It re-opened in 2005 as an independent exhibition space under the Ministry of Culture. “The Force of Art,” the first exhibition after the renovation, was well attended but failed to address the space; it lacked force and scale. Its array of disparate works by 20 artists was squashed by the incredible power and beauty of the space itself, which consists of an open area of more than 600 feet, covered by a 150-foot-high central dome woven out of steel and glass that resonates with the captured sky.