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Kiefer moved to Düsseldorf in 1970. In 1971 he moved to Hornbach, in southwestern Germany, where he established a studio. He remained there until 1992; his output during this first creative time is known as The German Years. In 1992 he relocated to France. Work Photography Kiefer began his career as a photographer with performances in which he, in paramilitary costume, mimicked the Nazi salute on various locations in France, Switzerland and Italy calling for Germans to remember and to acknowledge the loss to their culture through the mad xenophobia of the Third Reich. In 1969, at Galerie am Kaiserplatz, Karlsruhe, he presented his first single exhibition "Besetzungen (Occupations)" with a series of photographs about controversial political actions. Painting and sculpture Kiefer is best known for his paintings, which have grown increasingly large in scale with additions of lead, broken glass, and dried flowers or plants, resulting in encrusted surfaces and thick layers of impasto By 1970, while studying informally under Joseph Beuys at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf,his stylistic leanings resembled Georg Baselitz's approach. He worked with glass, straw, wood and plant parts. The use of these materials meant that his art works became temporary and fragile, as Kiefer himself was well aware; he also wanted to showcase the materials in such a way that they were not disguised and could be represented in their natural form. The fragility of his work contrasts with the stark subject matter in his paintings. This use of familiar materials to express ideas was influenced by Beuys, who used fat and carpet felt in his works. It is also typical of the Neo- Expressionist style. Kiefer returned to the area of his birthplace in 1971. In the years that followed, he incorporated German mythology in particular in his work, and in the next decade he argued with the Kabbalah.
He went on extended journeys throughout Europe, the USA and the Middle East; the latter two journeys further influenced his work. Besides paintings, Kiefer created sculptures, watercolors, woodcuts, and photographs. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Kiefer made numerous paintings, watercolors, woodcuts, and books on themes interpreted by Richard Wagner in his fouropera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).In the early 1980s, he created more than thirty paintings, painted photographs, and watercolors that refer in their titles and inscriptions to the Romanian Jewish writer Paul Celan's poem "Todesfuge" ("Death Fugue"). A series of paintings which Kiefer executed between 1980 and 1983 depict looming stone edifices, referring to famous examples of National Socialist architecture, particularly buildings designed by Albert Speer and Wilhelm Kreis. The grand plaza in To the Unknown Painter (1983) specifically refers to the outdoor courtyard of Hitler's Chancellery in Berlin, designed by Speer in 1938 in honor of the Unknown Soldier. In 1984–85, he made a series of works on paper incorporating manipulated blackand-white photographs of desolate landscapes with utility poles and power lines. Such works, like Heavy Cloud (1985), were an indirect response to the controversy in West Germany in the early 1980s about NATO's stationing of tactical nuclear missiles on German soil and the placement of nuclear fuel processing facilities. By the mid-1980s, Kiefer’s themes widened from a focus on Germany's role in civilisation to the fate of art and culture in general. His work became more sculptural and involved not only national identity and collective memory, but also occult symbolism, theology and mysticism. The theme of all the work is the trauma experienced by entire societies, and the continual rebirth and renewal in life. During the 1980s his paintings became more physical, and featured unusual textures and materials.The range of his themes broadened to include references to ancient Hebrew and Egyptian history,