Daniel Arasse’s monograph on Anselm Kiefer’s work is a lovely work of art in its own right. With just over 400 images, almost all in color, this text really gives the reader a visual sense of the look and feel of Kiefer’s work. Arasse, a Sorbonne-educated critic and art historian, contributes relatively short texts that united the at times visually similar works, and leads the reader through the dense symbolism and repeated imagery of Kiefer’s work.
Anselm Kiefer primarily addresses the place of the artist’s work in the world since his arrival on the world stage at the 1980 Venice Biennale. Although there is work included in this book from the entirety of Kiefer’s career, the earlier work primarily focuses on how Kiefer was selected to represent Germany in Venice, and the results and work created once he reached international fame.
The language of this text is technical, and this will be a difficult read for a new comer to the art world or to Kiefer’s work. Also, on a purely technical note, the size of the text in this volume is very small. Followers of Kiefer’s career or of modern German painting will appreciate this volume, however, for most readers this will probably be more of a coffee table book than a reference volume.
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