Anselm Kiefer is a German painter, sculptor, and photographer. He was born on March 8 in the small German town of Donaueschingen in 1945. He grew up in a teacher’s family. After receiving the certificate of maturity Kiefer entered in 1965 in the University of Freiburg, where he studied law and romance, but a year later moved to the Faculty of Arts.
Investigating the topic of guilt of his generation, Kiefer became one of the first artists who openly turned to the themes of Nazism and the Holocaust. In 1980, Kiefer was among the artists who represented Germany at the Venice Biennale. Anselm Kiefer became the 1st artist to receive the World Book Trade Prize, as w
ell as the “Nobel Prize in the Arts” – Premium Imperiale, awarded by the Japan Art Association. In the next years, his exhibitions were held in numerous places: in Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Royal Academy in London, the Grand Palais and the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Anselm Kiefer is the only living artist whose works are part of the permanent collection of the Louvre.
Since 1993, he lives and works in France, where he made the industrial laboratory a creative laboratory in the department of Gar.
Key Ideas in painting
Kiefer’s manner is often compared to Van Gogh. The artist often adds to the paint various elements like dust, small fragments of rusty metal, tree roots, dried flowers. Thus, each canvas turns into a verbose complicated story filled with meaning and, as a result, causes an emotional and psychological effect on the viewer.
The artistic approach to history, religion, philosophy, and mysticism determines all of Kiefer’s work. The central themes of his works are the history and mythology of Germany, its national identity, as well as the legends of Scandinavia; all this Kiefer shows in his paintings in conjunction with the tragedy of th
e Holocaust and still living ideas of Nazism.
Famous paintings made by Anselm Kiefer
In 2016, Anselm Kiefer, inspired by a visit to St. Petersburg, created a new exhibition project for the Hermitage. Kiefer introduced the canvases that he dedicated to the Russian futurist poet, the experimenter of word creation Velimir Khlebnikov. At the exhibition were presented about 30 new works specially created for this project.
Here are some of them:
One of the 30 works by Anselm Kiefer at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.
“1770 Chesma 1770-951=819 Normans in France”
“1770 Chesma 1770-Aurora”
By the way, the Museum of the State Hermitage bought this work (“Aurora”) by Anselm Kiefer for almost 64 million rubles – just over 1 million dollars. The picture was partly paid for by the money accumulated through donations.
A canvas “Battles at Sea” by Anselm Kiefer, at June 27 was sold at the auction house, Phillips. The picture was created for six years, from 2004 to 2010 and its original cost was £ 400-600 thousand. But in the end, the price was exceeded 4 times.
Not only is this artwork known to this talented person, but also sculptures and installations.
Anselm created many sculptures dedicated to the cosmos.
In 2002, for the Pirelli warehouses, the artist created a series of sculptures made up of cubes with doorways called “Towers,” which somehow resemble the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, as they are also slightly inclined.
Also, he created some works that masterly combine painting, sculpture, and installation. This is a kind of dialogue between modernity and the destructive past.
In 2007, the triptych Anselm entered the permanent exhibition of the Louvre. It consists of the painting “Athanor ” and two sculptures – “Danae” and Hortus Conclusus.
The starting point in his work as a photographer was a series of photographs in 1969 in Galerie am Kaiserplatz, Karlsruhe under the title “Besetzungen (Occupation).” The artist withdrew himself in the uniform of an officer of the Third Reich with a Nazi salute in various cities of Europe, for which he was almost accused of sympathizing with Nazism.