Anselm Kiefer

German, b. 1945

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Anselm Kiefer

German, b. 1945

9,519
Followers
Biography

Anselm Kiefer critically engages with myth and memory, referencing totems of German culture and collective history. “Germans want to forget [the past] and start a new thing all the time, but only by going into the past can you go into the future,” he says. Revealing the influence of his tutelage under Joseph Beuys, Kiefer's epic-scaled, dense sculptures and paintings are often exposed to elements like acid and fire, and incorporate materials such as lead, burned books, concrete, thorny branches, ashes, and clothing; famed critic and historian Simon Schama has described his work as “heavy-load maximalism.” Kiefer’s vast-ranging references have included the Black Forest, Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and Caspar David Friedrich’s Romantic landscapes, as well as Kabbalah mysticism, Cold War politics, National Socialist architecture, and Paul Celan’s seminal body of post-Holocaust poetry. “Art is difficult,” he says. “It’s not entertainment.”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£2m, Christie's, 2007
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 10 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 21 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

Anselm Kiefer critically engages with myth and memory, referencing totems of German culture and collective history. “Germans want to forget [the past] and start a new thing all the time, but only by going into the past can you go into the future,” he says. Revealing the influence of his tutelage under Joseph Beuys, Kiefer's epic-scaled, dense sculptures and paintings are often exposed to elements like acid and fire, and incorporate materials such as lead, burned books, concrete, thorny branches, ashes, and clothing; famed critic and historian Simon Schama has described his work as “heavy-load maximalism.” Kiefer’s vast-ranging references have included the Black Forest, Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and Caspar David Friedrich’s Romantic landscapes, as well as Kabbalah mysticism, Cold War politics, National Socialist architecture, and Paul Celan’s seminal body of post-Holocaust poetry. “Art is difficult,” he says. “It’s not entertainment.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£2m, Christie's, 2007
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 10 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 21 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Anselm Kiefer
Articles Featuring Anselm Kiefer
This Danish Mega-Collector Launched His Latest Private Museum in Brooklyn
Dec 19th, 2019
How Mega-Collectors Don and Mera Rubell Keep Finding New Artists to Support
Nov 11th, 2019
How Anselm Kiefer Borrowed Rodin’s Arms and Legs to Make New Sculptures
Nov 22nd, 2017
Anselm Kiefer on the Existential Crisis Facing Humanity
Apr 5th, 2017
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