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b. 1945, Germany

Anselm Kiefer Biography

Anselm Kiefer has produced a diverse body of work in painting, sculpture and installation that has made him one of the most important European artists of the past four decades.

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After studying law, and Romance languages and literature, Kiefer devoted himself entirely to painting. He attended the School of Fine Arts at Fribourg-in-Brisgau then the Art Academy in Karlsuhe while maintaining contact with Joseph Beuys, but soon began to develop his own deliberately indigenous set of subjects and symbols that he used to explore the fraught territory of German history and identity. In his muscular artistic language, physical materiality and visual complexity enliven his themes and content with a rich, vibrant tactility. His subject-matter ranges over sources as diverse as Teutonic mythology and history, alchemy and the nature of belief, all depicted in a bewildering variety of materials, including oil paint, dirt, lead, models, photographs, woodcuts, sand, straw and all manner of organic material. By adding found materials to the painted surface of his immense tableaux, he invents a compelling third space between painting and sculpture. Recent work has broadened his range yet further, and in 2006 he showed a series of paintings based around the little-known work of modernist poet Velimir Chlebnikov (1885-1922). Few contemporary artists match Kiefer's epic reach, and his work consistently balances powerful imagery with acute critical analysis.

Anselm Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen, Germany in 1945. He has lived and worked in France since 1993. He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at MoMA, New York (1987), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1991), The Metropolitan Museum, New York (1998), Royal Academy, London (2001), Fort Worth Museum of Art, Fort Worth (2005) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006), Mass MoCA, Massachusetts, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2010) and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2011).

Exhibition view: Anselm Kiefer, Field of the Cloth of Gold, Gagosian, Le Bourget (7 February–19 June 2021). Artwork © Anselm Kiefer. Courtesy Gagosian. Photo: Thomas Lannes.

Anselm Kiefer Featured Artworks

Himmelspaläste by Anselm Kiefer contemporary artwork
Anselm KieferHimmelspaläste, 1987–1991Emulsion, oil and straw on canvas
282 x 190 x 20 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Untitled (Lilith) by Anselm Kiefer contemporary artwork
Anselm KieferUntitled (Lilith), 1996Paint, gouache and lead objects on black-and-white photograph
65.5 x 124.5 x 8.5 cm
Not for sale
Mind Set Art Center
Die Klugen Jungfrauen by Anselm Kiefer contemporary artwork
Anselm KieferDie Klugen Jungfrauen, 2007Acrylic dried branch, plaster emulsion, glue, wire, lead on cardboard mounted on canvas
112.38 x 55.38 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery

Anselm Kiefer Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Anselm Kiefer, Field of the Cloth of Gold at Gagosian, Le Bourget
Closing Soon
7 February–26 June 2021 Anselm Kiefer Field of the Cloth of Gold GagosianLe Bourget
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, TEFAF Selection at Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Düsseldorf
Closed
19 March–31 July 2020 Group Exhibition TEFAF Selection Beck & Eggeling International Fine ArtDüsseldorf
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Duino Elegies at Gagosian, 980 Madison Avenue, New York
Closed
5 March–27 June 2020 Group Exhibition Duino Elegies Gagosian980 Madison Avenue, New York

Anselm Kiefer Represented By

Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian New York, Athens, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Hong Kong

Anselm Kiefer In Ocula Magazine

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Blockbuster European Exhibition Opens in Tempelhof Hangars Ocula News Blockbuster European Exhibition Opens in Tempelhof Hangars Berlin, 10 June 2021

Diversity United is a soft power push to unite Europe. But Putin is pushing back.

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Art World Remembers ‘Complex’ L.A. Art Patron Eli Broad Ocula News Art World Remembers ‘Complex’ L.A. Art Patron Eli Broad Los Angeles, 4 May 2021

Broad helped found MOCA Los Angeles in 1979 and opened The Broad across the street in 2015.

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How to Make a Sculpture Park that Doesn’t Suck Ocula Feature How to Make a Sculpture Park that Doesn’t Suck By Georges Armaos, London

Georges Armaos has a formula for creating art sites that succeed publicly, critically, and financially.

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Taipei Connections: Eleven Works to Collect Ocula Insight  |  In Partnership with Taipei Connections Taipei Connections: Eleven Works to Collect By Sam Gaskin, Taipei

The Ocula team present picks from Taipei Connections, an online platform launched by Ocula and Taipei Dangdai.

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Anselm Kiefer In Related Press

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TRANSITION FROM COOL TO WARM Related Press TRANSITION FROM COOL TO WARM 15 November 2019, Anselm Kiefer

We are in Anselm Kiefer 's studio outside Paris on a hot day in September 2016, looking at some of the works to appear in his forthcoming exhibition at Gagosian, Transition from Cool to Warm. A few books rest on tables in the library, a long and airy section of the upper floor. The pages in the largest of the books are bigger than A1 paper...

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The Spirit of Painting in an Altered World Related Press The Spirit of Painting in an Altered World 12 May 2018, Hyperallergic

'A faint, beautiful memory' is how curator Norman Rosenthal described A New Spirit Then, A New Spirit Now, 1981-2018, the current show at Almine Rech Gallery on the Upper East Side. What he’s remembering, as spelled out in the exhibition’s title, is the seminal survey, A New Spirit in Painting, which opened, barely, at the Royal Academy of Arts...

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WHAT TO SEE DURING FRIEZE WEEK 2017 Related Press WHAT TO SEE DURING FRIEZE WEEK 2017 3 May 2017, Whitewall

Ethics demonstrated in geometrical order will showcase new works from the artist Erwin Wurm's series One Minute Sculptures, which he's been making for 20 years. The series asks viewers to enact a pose with everyday items for just one minute—this time around he's using midcentury modern furniture. These audience-activated sculptures will...

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Murakami reveals surprise debt to Anselm Kiefer Related Press Murakami reveals surprise debt to Anselm Kiefer 30 August 2015, The Art Newspaper

The Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s private collection of works of art and everyday objects will go on display for the first time in January. The exhibition at the Yokohama Museum of Art will include hundreds of everyday items such as beer mugs, ephemera like fantasy figurines and antiques, says the show’s curator, Akiko Miki. ...

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Anselm Kiefer In Video & Audio

For Mario Related Video & Audio For Mario 18 July 2019, Tina Kim Gallery

Curator Adam Charlap Hyman (of Charlap Hyman & Herrero) discusses the overarching theme of For Mario.

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