The limestone massif of the Kaiser mountain range in the Austrian Alps is composed of two ridge peaks, the higher of which is called Wilder Kaiser (Wild Emperor). Kiefer chose to represent the Wilder Kaiser with white acrylic emulsion primer that rises in relief from the center of the watercolor ground. Perhaps he is implying a conceptual, if not exactly chemical, connection between the limestone of the Kaiser range, the traditional chalky art material gesso, and the synthetic "gesso" substitute he used to shape his mountain. In this little drawing, Kiefer adheres to the idea that a very big subject-whether cultural or geological, such as the Alps-is often best rendered in a small format.
Inscription: Inscribed: (center in watercolor): Wilder Kaiser; (center right): Predigtstuhl/ 2093; (center right): für Julia
private collection (1975–83; sold in 1983 to d'Offay); [Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, 1983–95; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Anselm Kiefer: Works on Paper in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 15, 1998–March 21, 1999, no. 22.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Broken Flowers and Grass: Nature and Landscape in the Drawings of Anselm Kiefer," March 24–August 2, 2009, no catalogue.
Nan Rosenthal in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1994–1995." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 53 (Autumn 1995), p. 68.
Nan Rosenthal. Anselm Kiefer: Works on Paper in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 55–56, no. 22, ill. (color).