Stefan George (1868-1933), whose head emerges here from the top of a tall peak, was a poet whose later works deplore the absence of heroism and condemn what he perceived to be the evils of contemporary life. Despite this Nietzschian interest in the will to power, George was repulsed by National Socialism and died in self-imposed exile in Switzerland. Nonetheless he was subsequently embraced by the Nazis as a national literary hero-an example of their exploitation of a German cultural figure for their own purposes. Stefan! shows Kiefer's interest in redeeming such figures from the ignominy of exploitation while at the same time pointing to the charged complexities of German cultural heritage.
Inscription: Inscribed in ballpoint pen (L.L.): Stefan!
private collection (1974–83; sold in 1983 to d'Offay); [Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, 1983–95; sold to MMA]
Sezon Museum of Modern Art. "Anselm Kiefer–Melancholia," June 3–July 19, 1993, no. W–7.
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. "Anselm Kiefer–Melancholia," August 3–September 5, 1993, no. W–7.
Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. "Anselm Kiefer–Melancholia," September 18–October 24, 1993, no. W–7.
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. 9.
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.
Duisburg. Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst. "Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer: Zeichnungen, Gouachen, Bücher," June 29–September 30, 2012, unnumbered cat. (p. 195).
R. H. Fuchs. Anselm Kiefer: Aquarelle 1970–1980. Exh. cat., Kunstverein Freiburg. Freiburg, 1981, unpaginated.
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. 44–45, no. 16, ill. (color).