Fort Worth

Anselm Kiefer

Modern Art Museum | Fort Worth

Anselm Kiefer’s work is so well known, and has been so extensively written about and exhibited, one wondered what “Anselm Kiefer: Heaven and Earth,” a traveling survey recently at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, could possibly add to the dialogue. The answer: both not much and a whole lot.

Positing the artist’s inquiry into spirituality—a Sisyphean search for heaven in particular—as a key to understanding his symbolically rich, historically layered oeuvre, curator Michael Auping organized a deeply engrossing, thematically focused survey. One way to begin considering this exhibition is to remember Kiefer’s 1987 touring retrospective and the accompanying catalogue essay by Mark Rosenthal. Rosenthal articulates the developmental arc of the German painter’s historical iconography with a clarity that stands in stark contrast to some subsequent treatments, such as Daniel Arasse’s 2001

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