Anselm Kiefer Essay

This essay has a total of 917 words and 4 pages.

Anselm Kiefer


Anselm Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen, Germany on March 8, 1945. In later years he
became one of the most prominent figures in the Neo-Expressionist art movement. He studied
law at the University of Freiburg until 1966. In 1966 he became an artist and was a
student of Joseph Beuys who is another German artist (Safra pg.139).

In the painting March Heath Kiefer uses a variety of color. However the color's that are
used are dark colors and earth tone color. The center of this painting is the road that
vanishes into the background. It is obvious that Kiefer wanted this to be the main object
of the painting. Where the road vanishes is in the center also. However Kiefer does not
tell us where the road leads. At the bottom of the painting the German words "Markische
Heid" are painted with black ink. The black ink causes the phrase to get the viewers
attention. After reading Anselm Kiefer by Mark Rosenthal I learned that March Heath
belongs to the Brandenburg region, located in East Germany (Rosenthal pg.35). The
Brandenburg region played a very important role to the Persian Empire during the
seventeenth century. With this region being so important it was frequently fought over
(Rosenthal pg.35). The road looks heavily traveled because of the ruts where the grass is
dead and has turned into a dirt path. Each side of the path is painted with very little
detail. Yes you can tell that it is a field and you can see some plants but it is not as
easily noticed as the path. On the right side of the path there is a group of trees, but
three are only seen. Rosenthal says "that the trees are birch trees, and they establish a
Fontane-like context of nature resplendent, waiting to be enjoyed in peaceful
contemplation (Rosenthal pg 35)."



Another painting by Kiefer is Deutschlands Geistesbelden or in English Germany's Spiritual
Heroes. He uses bi-lateral symmetry. Each side of the hallway has the same amount of
support beams and a large dish filled with some type of kerosene or oil that is burning on
each beam. Under each candle there is a name written in black paint, and maybe these are
the German Spiritual Heroes. The flaming dishes run all the way down the hallway and it
leads to a door. The door that the hallway leads to is the center of the painting. But
what is on the other side of the door? Maybe it is the ultimate hero or possibly the God
that Kiefer believes in. This painting has a lot of detail in it and because of that
Kiefer must have put a lot of time and effort in it. The detail that he uses throughout
the hallway is just astounding. He painted the wood of the hallway with knots and grains.
Even the flames are painted with a lot of detail. Kiefer makes the wood and flames seem
real enough to be able to touch it and get a splinter or burn your hand. At the top of the
painting Anselm Kiefer paints Deutschlands Geistesbelden in black paint or black ink. Of
all the colors that could have been used Kiefer only used four. The mixture of red and
yellow easily create the image of fire, and black creates a shadow at the bottom and the
door in the background. Deutschlands Geistesbelden means Germany's Spiritual Heroes in
English. Who are these heroes? The book Anselm Kiefer written by Mark Rosenthal says, "
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