Margarethe
Anselm Kiefer
Margarethe
Anselm Kiefer (German, b. 1945): Margarethe, 1981. Oil and bundles of straw on canvas, 280 x 380 cm (110 x 150 inches). Saatchi Gallery, London, UK. © Anselm Kiefer © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.



‘Romanian poet Paul Celan was the only member of his family to survive incarceration in a concentration camp during the Holocaust ... Celan's poem [“Death Fugue"] has been a preoccupation of the German artist Anselm Kiefer, for whom Margarete and Shulamite have become the metaphoric protagonists in a series of paintings, of which Margarete (1981) is the concluding work.’ (© Sue Hubbard, suehubbard.com)

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'Moving from art for art's sake, he explored the past to learn lessons for the future. Influenced by Beuys, he saw art as a healing, spiritual process, and adopted myth and metaphor to investigate the "recent terror of history" ... These straw paintings are among the most powerful of Kiefer's works ...’ (Sue Hubbard, © independent.co.uk)

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“... subjects [are] drawn from Germany and its culture ... Layers of multiple histories and media are hallmarks of Kiefer's work. He is best known for his paintings ... which have grown increasingly large in scale with additions of lead, broken glass, and dried flowers or plants. Their encrusted surfaces and thick layers of impasto are physical evocations of the sediments of time and meaning they convey ...

Kiefer's interest [is in] coming to terms with the Nazi past by transgressing postwar taboos against visual and verbal icons of the Third Reich is replete with irony. In his large-scale paintings or recent sculptures, the weight of history is viscerally palpable ..." (© Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Read more: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/kief/hd_kief.htm