Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer

Art is Spiritual

Meet the extolled German artist, Anselm Kiefer, who lives for the process of creating, argues that history is a moldable material, considers art a spiritual occupation and refers to himself as a “dinosaur”.

Art is a spiritual occupation, capturing a form of contact that science can’t: “It makes a connection between things that are separated,” Kiefer argues. In his mind, his works should continually evolve and be fluid. The process of creating is of utmost importance to him, as it is the process rather than the end that has his interest, and what’s between the paintings rather than in them. “I am a dinosaur – I paint myself,” he comments.

Kiefer argues that history is a material, which is moldable like argil, and in this way becomes less horrific as it is possible to reform it. “History shows that humankind has a wrong construction in their head… it’s badly done,” he continues, half-jokingly remarking that if an airplane had such a construction, it would fall down all the time. He, however, does not consider it his job as an artist to express a certain attitude towards history: “I just show it like I see it.”

Anselm Kiefer (born 1945) is a German painter and sculptor. His works incorporate materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead and shellac. Spirituality and history are important themes in Kiefer’s works, which frequently address and seek to process taboo and often dark, controversial issues from recent history, such as the horrors of the Holocaust. Kiefer, whose style is often linked to ‘New Symbolism’, lives and works primarily in Paris, France and in Alcáder do Sal, Portugal.

Anselm Kiefer was interviewed by Tim Marlow at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in 2010.

Camera: Marie Friis Forchhammer
Edited by: Marie Friis Forchhammer
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Bunny Rogers

    Mourning Youth

    “You can’t make objective art, it’s going to be subjective.” Watch the praised artist Bunny Rogers (b. 1990) talk about creating autobiographical work that draws from memory and deals with her childhood by archiving her feelings from that time.

  • Ed Atkins

    Something is Missing

    Ed Atkins is considered one of the most unsettling contemporary artists – as well as one of the most exciting. In this video, the young British artist shares how he works from written texts, and why melancholy is at the centre of his animated digital videos.

  • Louisa Gagliardi

    Longing for Something Else

    “Art is amazing because it’s in a way unnecessary, but extremely necessary as a testimony of its time.” Let us introduce you to a rising star of painting, Louisa Gagliardi, who creates her surreal work digitally and adds layers of paint to the printed image.

  • Hannah Levy

    A Design Purgatory

    “I wonder if the reason why people want to touch it is that they’re in some way attracted to it, or if they’re repulsed by it.” Meet the young artist Hannah Levy, who primarily makes sculptures combining curving steel forms with cast silicone.

  • Dora Budor

    Acting Things

    “I want to use art as a field where I can explore parallel scenarios.” Dora Budor makes complex sculptures and interactive installations inspired by cinematic metaverse and scientific research. Join us as we visit the young Croatian artist in her studio.

  • Ian Cheng

    A Portal to Infinity

    Watch Ian Cheng, a rising star on the art scene, talk about his trilogy of animated live simulation works – ‘Emissaries’ – which work like a never-ending video game in real time: “It was a process that was on-going as life is on-going.”

  • Yona Friedman

    Advice to the Young

    What piece of advice would a renowned 94-year-old architect offer young architects? Find out in this short video, where Yona Friedman argues that architects must always adapt to the context and work for the average user.

  • Jan Gehl

    How to Build a Good City

    “We now know that first, we form the cities, but then the cities form us.” Meet the 81-year-old Danish architect Jan Gehl, who for more than fifty years has focused on improving the quality of urban life by helping people “re-conquer the city.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.