European Artists Daniel Arasse Anselm Kiefer

ISBN 13: 9780810903845

Anselm Kiefer

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9780810903845: Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945) is one of the most important and controversial artists of the twentieth century. This book, the first to analyze the essence of his work, begins with Kiefer's arrival on the international art scene at the 1980 Venice Biennale, when he sparked heated debate and controversy over the "Germanity" of his pieces. Since that time, through such diverse mediums as painting, gouache and watercolor, photography, artist's books, engravings, installations, and sculpture, Kiefer has created a body of work that is protean, theatrical, monumental, or intimate, depending on the period. 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.

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Review:

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 Curtis

About the Author:

Daniel Arasse taught art history at the Universite de Paris-Sorbonne.

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Daniel Arasse
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