* 1945 Donaueschingen
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. From 1970 to 1972 he takes classes with Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Art Academy.
Anselm Kiefer is neither a history nor a landscape painter, however, both are integral parts of his painting. 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. Vehement discussions are sparked and make Kiefer a popular but at the same time controversial contemporary artist. Kiefer provokes with pictures and words scratched onto the painting, fully aware of the ambiguity, asking the observer to deal with and examine the addressed topics. They are to trigger associations and moods in the observer by means of their openness and indefiniteness.
From 1969 to 1992 the artist mostly covers topics from German history, but also the topic of the artist's myth. Other important works contain motifs from the Kabbalah or historical subjects that Kiefer takes from the Old Testament, giving them a new interpretation. Anselm Kiefer acquires the manor "La Ribaute" in Barjac in South France in 1993. This is where he turns to topics of cosmology.
Anselm Kiefer's work is shown in numerous large German museums. He 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), 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 Barjac.