Anselm Kiefer – lest we forget



Anselm Kiefer is a German artist, whose often melodramatic paintings have been focussed on never letting Germany forget the horrors of its Nazi past or the destruction that nationalism and war brings. He has just opened a new exhibition in London, more installation art than paintings, which again evokes the nightmares from history which have become ever present.

He was born 8 March 1945 in a small village called Donaueshingen in Germany, which was being bombed by the British. [Just to put it into perspective it is reckoned that 600,000 German civilians died in WW11 from air raids, with 4.5 million military casualties; and 65,000 civilians died in the UK during those six years, along with 400,000 forces personnel. WW11 was the deadliest in history with an estimated 50 million plus civilians dead and 25 million combat deaths in total.]

He’s a Sun Pisces opposition Jupiter so creative and inclined to large ideas. His Mars in Aquarius is in a wide opposition to Pluto; and he has planets in all three Air signs; plus a Sagittarius/Capricorn Moon opposition Saturn. So fuelled by anger and ideas.

But it is really down into his 5th and 7th Harmonics (quintiles and septiles) that his talent emerges. His inspirational 7H has a brutal Grand Trine of Saturn Pluto Mars; and a stressed Yod of an explosive Mars Uranus onto the 7H Sun. So what fires his imagination is war (Saturn Pluto) and the damage that it causes (+ Mars); and he expresses himself (Sun) in shocking images.

His get-it-together 5H is mellower, more Neptunian, enabling him to magic fantasy representations out of his deepest fears. Neptune is tied into a paranoid though prolific T square with Sun Saturn; and is also in aspect to an exuberant Mars Jupiter Venus.

His obstinate and outspoken Mars in Aquarius is exactly square the Germany 1871 Pluto in the 8th, so he taps into the country’s deepest fears and guilt. His regretful Saturn in Cancer square Neptune are also in hard aspect to the Germany  Sun and Saturn in Capricorn, as well as the Germany Mars,  so his life and work are an uncomfortable reminder of their history.

2 thoughts on “Anselm Kiefer – lest we forget

  1. No doubt he has more depth than most contemporary artists. He is one of the few contemporary artists with a deep spiritual nature (He studied philosophy and law and lived in a monastery). His work truly movies me. While his work delves into German history, he goes much deeper than German nationalism and German history. His work ties into the mythology of other countries, including Egypt, into the distant past, into outer space and into the future, the unity of all things. He is definitely quite a philosopher, and my guess is that his moon is in Sagittarius. American artists look quite shallow next to the European artists of last 50 years.

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