German, 20th century, male.
Active in France.
Born 1945, in Donaueschingen.
Painter, sculptor, mixed media. History painting, interiors with figures, architectural views, landscapes, animals, flowers.
Anselm Kiefer began studying literature, law and art at the University of Freiburg in Germany, then travelled in Italy, Switzerland and France. He was a pupil of Joseph Beuys at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf at the beginning of the 1970s. He lived and worked at Hornbach/Odenwald, then in the 1980s he settled in France at Barjac in the Ardèche. Kiefer made his debut with conceptual performances, then created environments characterised by a taste for the splendours of antiquity, casting a slightly disillusioned glance in the direction of western culture as, for instance, when he fills a container with peas and slabs of lead to suggest a population census. What is memorable about these installations is the spectacular element: lead books weighing 675 lbs (300 kilos) collected together in a library of a hundred or so books, a cataclysmic atmosphere, which cannot leave the spectator unmoved; a rocket pointing skywards, broken glass and lumps of earth containing teeth brought together in ...