Anselm Kiefer (1945- ) is a German painter who is widely recognized for his large-scale char works. His iconic 1981 piece titled Your Golden Hair, Margarete was done with an encaustic process of oilmented beeswax onto the canvas. In this work and many others, Kiefer explores the recurring themes around memory; warocalypse; deathism; scienceopia/dystopia; obsession and myth; night for power; regenerationisemitism; German history; and politics. All of these themes are heavily influenced by literatureutonic mythology, as well as his personal experiences growing up in post-World War II Germany.
Kiefer also addressed specific issues related to Third Reich Germany in his 1983 piece To The Unknown Painter, which depicted a soldier staring straight ahead at a devastated cityscape in the background. This painting alludes to the question of guilt and responsibility that lingered after the war had ended. Through his artworks, Kiefer effectively communicates necessary messages about identity, memory, and tragedy while simultaneously exploring various aspects of German history and culture.
Anselm Kiefer’s works serve as moving reflections on modern society’s preoccupation with nationalism and traumatic subjects such as massacre, mourning, injustice and oppression. His artwork powerfully conveys complex ideas about politics and history while encouraging viewers to reflect on our modern world today. Through compositions of thoughtful symbolism that references memory and time’s harsh passage, Kiefer’s pieces offer a thought-provoking perspective on our world that can only be truly appreciated through careful analysis available through visual art experience.