Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945 in Germany, at the close of World War II. In the early 1970's he studied under Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Academy. Balancing visual power with intellectual analysis, Kiefer's work offers a reflection upon - and critique of - the myths and chauvinism which eventually propelled the German Third Reich to power. His paintings frequently depict his own generation's ambivalence toward the impulse of German nationalism and its impact on history. "On six strips of burlap sewn together, Kiefer drew perspective lines to form a deep theatrical space. The viewer is placed at the entrance of the cavernous room, slightly off center, engulfed by the wooden beams...The interior is at once a memorial hall and crematorium. Eternal fires burn along the wall as if in memory of the individuals, but the lower edge of the painting is darkened in a manner that suggests it has been singed. This highly flammable wooden room is in danger of burning, and with it Germany and its heroes will be destroyed...".

Above: Kiefer, Lilith, 1989

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