Anselm Kiefer Artist Research and notes

Anselm Kiefer was a German painter who was born 8th March 1945 and was really interested In landscapes during the second world war and he is also part of the the expressionary movement. He is famous for his huge scaled paintings of landscapes during the second world war by not only using paints but by using other materials as well, such as clay, straw, ash,lead and shellac. Anselm Kiefer was brave to create this work because it was reminding everybody about a time that they weren’t proud of and they just wanted to forget about it, but Kiefer brought those memories back to life by creating these humongous paintings that were thick with paint to recreate the feelings and emotions of the war.

A lot of his work is quite gloomy and depressing because he uses darker and less exciting colours, which is what he was trying to accomplish because he was trying to recreate German landscapes from the war which was a very dark and depressing time.

Out of the formal elements, Kiefer’s work was heavily based around colour and texture. Colour is a main element because he’s trying to create Landscapes from the war so he uses a selection of colours to get those emotions across. For example in the image below he uses a mixture of dirty white colours for the snow and dark browns for the trees to show a very cold, snowy night during winter which also to me looks and feels isolated and alone. Texture is also a very important in Kiefer’s work because he Integrates different materials into his paintings which give the artwork a texture. In the second picture Kiefer has painted a gloomy field and has also put hay and straw into the painting  which makes it feel so much thicker and gives it more dimensions which makes it feel more alive and powerful because it’s not just 2D anymore, it’s now got a 3D element where you can feel the texture of the painting if you touched it or were to see it real life.

The “line” aspects in Kiefer’s work is complicated but are interesting. For example in the second image the lines are very thick with paint and a mixture of colours. The lines that are clear and necessarily made up of one colour and are actually a blend of a few colours such as browns, yellows, blacks and white colours which creates these thick lines which show the lines of the field that look flooded, cold, rough and gloomy.

Overall his work is very gloomy and can be depressing depending on how you look at the work, but they can also make me feel peaceful and relaxed because the paintings are usually of very isolated places and lonely places where it feels quiet and peaceful. On the other hand though, some of the paintings can make me feel scared and cold like in the first image below because the dark forest and snow just seems really creepy and cold to me. But overall I do like his work but it isn’t really I style of painting i want to replicate in the future.



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