The German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen on March 8, 1945. At first he studies Romance studies and law at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg as of 1965. In 1966 he changes to painting. He studies under Peter Dreher at the State School of Fine Arts in Freiburg from 1966 to 1968. He continues his studies under Horst Antes at the Karlsruhe Art Academy in 1969-70. He has his first one-man show in the Galerie am Kaiserplatz in Karlsruhe in 1969. From 1970 to 1972 he continues his studies at the Düsseldorf Art Academy where he takes classes with Joseph Beuys.
Inspired by Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer deals intensively with German history in his works, but also with German, Greek and Egyptian mythology. He additionally deals with the topic of the artist's myth as well as with motifs from the Kabbalah or historical subjects that Kiefer takes from the Old Testament, giving them a new interpretation. History and landscapes are a predominant element of his paintings, painted rooms and landscape formations create complex cultural areas with which the author reflects on myths, German history, cult figures and death cult.
Repeatedly bringing up the topic of the Nazi era and dealing with this period of German history in his works, leads to misconceptions, his pictures, however, do not attempt to come up with answers, he leaves a lot of issues unanswered which causes misunderstandings. They spark vehement discussions and make him one of the most controversial artists in those days. The obvious ambiguity should make the observer examine the topics addressed by Kiefer in his pictures, he wants to do without ready-made commentary.
In 1993 Anselm Kiefer acquires the manor "La Ribaute" in Barjac in South France, where he turns to topics of cosmology.
Anselm Kiefers belongs to the most important German artists with an international reputation. He is awarded the "Praemium Imperiale" of the "Japan Art Association" in 1999 for his life's work. He is also awarded the "Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels" (The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade) in 2008, which is for the first time given to a visual artist. Besides paintings, Kiefer's extensive oeuvre also comprises watercolors, gouaches, woodcuts, photos, books and sculptures. Anselm Kiefer lives and works in the Southern French town of Barjac.
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