German artist Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945) is one of the most important and controversial artists of the 20th century. From the time of his appearance at the 1980 Venice Biennale, through such diverse mediums as painting, photography, artist's books, installations, and sculpture, he has interpreted the great political and cultural issues at the heart of the modern European sensibility: the connections among memory, history, and mythology; war; the Holocaust; and ethnic and national identity. His lyrical explorations of "Germanness" have prompted heated debate.
In this extensively illustrated volume-the first complete survey of his work-Daniel Arasse analyzes Kiefer's education, influences, philosophy, and art. Organized both chronologically and according to the artist's recurrent motifs, the book's approximately 250 full-color images trace Kiefer's creative evolution, and present his great themes in their full scope and power.
250 illustrations in full color, 320 pages, 125/8 x 133/4"
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Writing about one of the most important and complex artists of our times requires the erudition, clarity, and broad view of a Daniel Arasse, author of the gorgeously illustrated Anselm Kiefer. Avoiding a straightforward chronological survey, Arasse plunges directly into Kiefer's major themes and the ways they reflect the artist's subtly evolving perspectives on German history, the role of the artist, and the meaning of life. Arasse illuminates Kiefer's use of Jewish kabbalistic symbolism, his relationship to philosophers and writers from Nietzsche to Celan, and the rich trove of metaphor to be found in his use of lead, straw, books, and images of railroad tracks and artists' palettes. Never succumbing to art-speak, Arasse--whose French text has been deftly translated into English--marshals his arguments with lucid elegance. The approximately 400 full-color plates, including full views and close-ups, are magnificent. This is surely one of the major art books of our time. --Cathy CurtisAbout the Author:
Daniel Arasse is director of studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and the author of several books.
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