Tuesday Art ATTACK- Anselm Kiefer "Man Under a Pyramid"

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By Christian Franzen

Anselm Kiefer was born March 8th 1945 in Donaueschingen, Germany. Born the son of an art teacher Kiefer was encouraged to create from a young age. Despite his artistic background he went to the University of Freiburg to study law; however, in 1966 he dropped out of law school in order to study Art at the Academies in Freiburg, Karlsruhe, and Dusseldorf. During his time at the Academy in Dusseldorf in the 1970s Kiefer studied under artist Peter Dreher which had a large influence on his work.

Growing up in post WWII Germany had the biggest effect on Kiefer's work. Being born only a few months after the end of the war, Kiefer witnessed first hand the aftermath of the destruction and atrocities committed during the war. The evils of the Nazi regime and the horrors of the Holocaust are a large themes throughout Kiefer's entire body of work. In addition, Kiefer looks to Germanic history and folklore for inspiration. 

Kiefer's work is characterized as being dark subject matter and large in size. Being an artist of the 20th century Kiefer was also known to venture outside of the conventional media of painting. He often looked to etching and printmaking in order to get the result he wished to achieve. In the 1970s Kiefer abandoned traditional media all together and used glass, straw, wood, and other natural materials to emphasize his message of fragility. Since then he has returned to painting for the majority of his works and is still a practicing artist today. He lives primarily in Paris, France where he is still currently creating art.

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