Out of the Ashes

The postwar art of Anselm Kiefer

It does not take long for "Anselm Kiefer: Works on Paper, 1969-93"-fifty-four watercolors, gouaches, woodcuts, acrylics, and photomontages on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until March 21-to rattle and disturb you. It is as if the German artist (born 1945) has set out to wrestle with all your perspectives and preconceptions: intellectual, aesthetic, and moral.

First there is the bracing Nordic coldness of many of the...

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About the Author

Patrick Jordan is a former managing editor of Commonweal.