Nordic and Germanic mythologies, Jewish mysticism, the cosmos, the legends of the ancient world, links between heaven and earth, men and the gods, transmutation, the role of the human body: all of these lie at the heart of Anselm Kiefer’s thought. This, the first major monograph on Kiefer, uses thematic and chronological approaches to explore the many facets of his work.
Daniel Arasse takes as a starting point the 1980 Venice Biennale, a key moment in the artist’s career as it marked the birth of both his international reputation and the controversy over the ‘Germanness’ of his work. The author delves into the central themes of Kiefer’s art and their evolution. Interspersed with the main discussion are sub-chapters that shed new light on the fabric and subject of Kiefer’s art by examining his favourite motifs and the ways that they have mutated. By examining his influences, style and recurring motifs, Daniel Arasse highlights Kiefer’s rich culture and his philosophical and artistic practice,while demonstrating the unity and continuity in his work.