Anselm Kiefer

Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

The breadth and ambition of his vision, the operatic themes, the obsession with territory, the materials, the utter wilfulness in his sense of mission place the art of Anselm Kiefer at a turbulent point between latter-day earthworks and the oratorical landscapes and histories of, say, J.M.W. Turner. Kiefer is very much a painter—essentially a painter of landscapes, a fact that is evident in the composition and physicality of surface in virtually every piece in this fair-sized exhibition, in a smaller one here last year, and in two recent, extensive ones at the Museum Folkwang in Essen and at the White-chapel Art Gallery in London. Consummate and consuming though Kiefer’s conviction, both stated and demonstrated, of the power of painting may be, he shows no trace of such notions as “the spirituality of the brushstroke” or “the morality of the painted gesture.” He has developed an iconology

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