By 1980, Kiefer’s drawings, like his paintings, begin to manifest a complex, layered approach to materials and may include lead, shellac, even sand, over torn and pasted photographs. Their subjects are drawn from the artist’s broad-ranging interests in history, philosophy, poetry, and mythology. Kiefer associates his Astral Snake, the encircling serpent (a carefully torn photograph of a bamboo plant) that hovers against a starry night sky, with the Gnostic image of the Ouroboros, a snake biting its own tail. This serpentine image, which occurs in many cultures, connotes for the artist a circular, rather than linear, concept of time.
Cologne. Galerie Paul Maenz. "Anselm Kiefer," March 11–April 19, 1986, no. 4.
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. 45.
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.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Trails: Selected Works from the Collection, 1934–2001," July 19–November 27, 2011, no catalogue.
Paul Maenz and Gerd de Vries. Anselm Kiefer. Exh. cat.Cologne, 1986.
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, p. 105, no. 45, ill. p. 106 (color).