, 17. April 2017
History, Mythology and the Identity of Germany

Anselm Kiefer

He is currently the most famous and successful artist of Germany. His works are on display in many museums in Europe, Japan and the USA. Now, a Parisian work show features the connection in between the German Anselm Kiefer and the Frenchman Rodin in the Rodin anniversary year.

x-working Here you see the Leo-Baeck-Medal - Anselm Kiefer was awarded with the Leo-Baeck-Medal
Here you see the Leo-Baeck-Medal - Anselm Kiefer was awarded with the Leo-Baeck-Medal

Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945 in the Baden-Wuerttemberg Donaueschingen. He completed his art studies as a pupil of Horst Antes in Karlsruhe and Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf. Under the influence of Beuys, his taste for despised materials evolved. Kiefer prefers to work with plumb, ashes or substances. The preferred colour for his monumental artworks is gray, the "colour of doubt".

In his earlier works, Kiefer mainly deals with topics around the German history and culture, many of which were about national socialism and the destruction of Jewish culture. Traditional myths, books, and libraries were among his inspirational sources. In later works, the painter and sculptor mainly focused on mythic circles of the Jewish-Christian, Egyptian, and Oriental cultures.

In 1992, Anselm Kiefer went new ways. He folded up his tents in the Odenwald. "Leaving a country is a kind of hygiene," he once said in one of the rare interviews from that time. Kiefer left painting stand for three years and traveled through Nepal, Thailand, China, Australia and Mexico. Back in Europe, he settled down in France. In Barjac, he had a studio on a large industrial estate of a former silk factory. Since 2008, he has been working in an atelier in the Paris suburb of Croissy-Beauborg. In the warehouses of the former department store, he practices his art on 36,000 square meters.

The last thing to be heard of Kiefer was the erroneous exhibition in China, from which the artist clearly distanced himself. The Hamburg art company Bell Art Center and the curator Beate Reifenscheid put together their private collections for the "Kiefer in China" work show. However, the Chinese organizers assumed that they would also work with the artist himself. Nevertheless, Kiefer discounted and pretended to feel "raped and treated like a dead artist."

For the show at the Rodin Museum in Paris – which runs from March 14th to October 22nd 2017 –, everything is going according to plan. Although Kiefer and Rodin have little in common at first sight, their creative process is similar. Kiefer has created and reworked many works for the exhibition. It is worth a visit!

© 2017 – x-working

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