Kiefer has said that he discovered lead as an art material while repairing an old washing machine and that it "has more effect" on him than other metals. He likes the fact that lead has been a vehicle for many different meanings. For example, it is the base metal that alchemists tried to turn into gold and that they associated with Saturn, and it is used to protect patients from the harmful effects of X rays. For Strike, Kiefer chose a photograph made from exposed film that he had deliberately left too long in the fixative bath when it was being developed, partly destroying the film's emulsion and producing streaks, one of which he aligned with the bottom point of the lead cloud to create a kind of lightning bolt that links the sky and the nearly abstract landscape.
Cologne. Galerie Paul Maenz. "Anselm Kiefer," March 11–April 19, 1986, no. 3.
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. 39.
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.
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. 108, no. 47, ill. p. 109 (color).