Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Broken Flowers and Grass

Artist:
Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945)
Date:
1979
Medium:
Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and graphite on paper
Dimensions:
H. 14-1/8, W. 18-7/8 inches (35.9 x 47.9 cm.)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, in memory of her father, Joseph H. Hazen, 2000
Accession Number:
2000.96.6
Not on view
The title comes from a poem by Walther von der Vogelweide (1170-1230), whose subjects include sensual love and contemporary political issues. The poem is a famous example of medieval romantic verse; Kiefer can recite the first stanza by heart: "Under the linden tree / on the heath / where we two had our bed / you can still see / lovely broken / flowers and grass." Deciding that the watercolor landscape was too picturesque, Kiefer cancelled it out with looping lines of graphite and dabs of paint added straight from the tube. He did not conceive the drawing with the poem in mind but added it later, probably as he was working, as if to propose one possible meaning for what is one of his most compelling and, at first glance, most abstract works on paper.
Inscription: Inscribed upper left in pencil: gebrochen Blumen und Gras
London. Anthony d'Offay Gallery. "Anselm Kiefer: Watercolours, 1970–1982," May 24–July 9, 1983, no. 18 (as "Gebrochen Blumen und Gras [Broken flowers and grass]").

Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. "Anselm Kiefer," March 24–May 5, 1984, no. 128.

ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. "Anselm Kiefer," May 11–June 21, 1984, no. 128.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. "Anselm Kiefer," July 31–September 30, 1984, no. 128.

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. 31.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes by Klee and Kiefer," January 19–September 30, 2001, no catalogue.

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.

Anne Seymour. Anselm Kiefer: Watercolours 1970–1982. Exh. cat., Anthony d'Offay Gallery. London, 1983, unpaginated, no. 18, ill. (color).

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. 72–74, no. 31, ill. (color).



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