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Fine Art

Anselm Kiefer’s postwar “exploration”

April 26, 2017

German painter and sculptor, Anselm Kiefer, was “fortunate” enough to have had the entire continent of Europe as his canvas. Born in 1945 in postwar Europe, Kiefer has spent his entire career exploring how his country rebuilt itself in the aftermath of World War II.

Kiefer is unique in that he never steered clear of, or avoided, his country’s controversial past history. The guilt and horror of the Holocaust and the Nazi rule wasn’t something represented in art previously. Kiefer took on that subject with a vengeance. Early on, Kiefer incorporated German mythology into his works; and in the following years, he tested out the idea of the Kabbalah. His themes, throughout his career, have continued to include Hebrew and Egyptian history. As you can see, his range is quite wide.

Incorporating materials such as ash, clay and straw, the pieces Kiefer creates aren’t filled with hope and lightness. Nevertheless, they are important in ensuring that we understand the pragmatism of regaining a corrupted culture after the horrors of it’s past.

Through August 27th, Anselm Kiefer displays pieces of ugliness and war at the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Art Museum.
“The Fertile Crescent”.
Image courtesy of: South Florida Luxury Guide

“Die Orden der Nacht” (“The Orders of the Night,” 1996), acrylic, emulsion, and shellac on canvas (Seattle Art Museum).
Image courtesy of: Hyper Allergic

Anselm Kiefer, “Margarethe” (1981) oil, acrylic, emulsion, and straw on canvas (The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art).
Image courtesy of: Hyper Allergic

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