The German artist Anselm Kiefer gained prominence in 1969 with a series of photographs called 'Occupations', in which he was pictured giving the Nazi salute in various locations in Europe. This was Kiefer's first attempt to deal with Germany's recent cultural and political history, an ongoing theme in his work. From the 1980s the artist also began to explore other histories, taking nordic mythology, literary and biblical themes and Jewish mysticism as subjects. Kiefer's heavily textured, large-scale artworks (including books as well as paintings) are created with unusual but symbolic materials, such as lead, straw, cloth and tar.
An art movement of the 1970s and 80s inspired by German Expressionism. Most popular in Germany and America, the style is characterized by large, figurative works, rapidly painted, often with objects, such as broken plates or straw, incorporated into their surfaces.