Arguably Germany’s best working artist, Anselm Kiefer creates earthy paintings, symbol-laden sculptures, and poetic works on paper, exploring alchemy, mythology, history, and mysticism.
Kiefer, who studied with transformative artist Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf, came into his own in the ’70s and ’80s with large-scale, expressive paintings of decaying interiors and barren landscapes, which were interpreted as exorcising the demons of Germany’s World War II guilt.
A darling of international museum collections and exhibitions, Kiefer works out of a massive factory in the south of France, which he has made into a gesamtkunstwerk, or total artwork. He recently added Opera Director to his resume with In the Beginning, a hybrid theatrical production and art installation at the Opera National de Paris.
his massive Guggenheim retrospective book.