Anselm Kiefer

Heroische Sinnbilder [Heroic Symbols]

About this artwork

From the beginning of his artistic career in the 1960s Anselm Kiefer has drawn his subjects from Germany’s cultural traditions and its troubled history. In particular he has been interested in expressions of ideology in German art, architecture, literature and philosophy, and the ways in which the Nazis turned the close interrelationship between the nation’s aesthetic traditions and politics into a system of mass delusion and terror. This is one of a series of photographs documenting Kiefer’s performances from the summer and autumn of 1969 which he collectively titled 'Heroische Sinnbilder (Heroic Symbols)'. The series is best known for Kiefer’s re-enactments of the Hitler salute in various historically and culturally charged locations. However, the symbolism of this particular image harks back to nineteenth-century German Romanticism, the harbinger of a nationalist ideology that was later appropriated and transformed by the Nazis.

see media
  • title:
    Heroische Sinnbilder [Heroic Symbols]
  • accession number:
    AR01163
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Photograph, black and white, on paper
  • date created:
    1969
  • measurements:
    77.50 x 53.40 cm
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2011.
  • copyright:
    © ANSELM KIEFER
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer