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Blip.053: Genius or Madman?
Both can be true.
“There are some people whose creativity verges on the demonic and he’s one of those.”
—British art historian Simon Schama talking about Anselm Kiefer
Recently, I watched a fascinating documentary from 2014 on German artist Anselm Kiefer. I was unaware of Anselm’s work until just a couple weeks ago and since then, I’ve been poring over websites (also here, here, and here), reading essays, and watching YouTube videos to learn more about the artist, his work, and his process. The sheer number of pieces in Kiefer’s body of work is staggering, matched only by the diversity of mediums and materials he uses to create them. His work is definitely not for everyone and there are a number of pieces that I struggle to understand. Fortunately, the Royal Academy of Arts has prepared a beginner’s guide to Anselm Kiefer to help get you up to speed.
A sample from his About page at Gagosian reads:
“Kiefer’s oeuvre encompasses paintings, vitrines, installations, artist books, and an array of works on paper such as drawings, watercolors, collages, and altered photographs. The physical elements of his practice—from lead, concrete, and glass to textiles, tree roots, and burned books—are as symbolically resonant as they are vast-ranging. By integrating, expanding, and regenerating imagery and techniques, he brings to light the importance of the sacred and spiritual, myth and memory.”
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