In 1969, near the end of his studies at the art academy in Karlsruhe, Germany, Kiefer staged photographs of himself in paramilitary costumes, at times in Romantic-style landscapes throughout Western Europe. Wearing jodhpurs and boots or a dark green coat, Kiefer reenacted the Nazi salute-the Heil Hitler-that was, by nature of Kiefer's own Germanness and by the horrendous history such a gesture invoked, a highly provocative subject. Kiefer's ironic title derives from the article "Heroic Symbols" that appeared in a 1943 issue of the propaganda journal Die Kunst in Deutschen Reich (Art of the German Reich). Published by the National Socialist party between 1937 and 1944, the magazine was one of the artist's sources of Fascist imagery.
private collection (until 1983; 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. 1.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Made in Germany," May 22–October 14, 2007, no catalogue.
Madrid. Fundación Juan March. "The Abstraction of Landscape: From Northern Romanticism to Abstract Expressionism," October 4, 2007–January 13, 2008.
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. 14, 16, 20, 101, no. 1, ill. p. 17 (color).
Léa Salvador and Eva König inAnselm Kiefer. Ed. Jean-Michel Bouhours. Exh. cat., Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne, Galerie I. Paris, 2015, ill. pp. 236-37 (color).