Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and graphite on paper
H. 14-1/8, W. 18-7/8 inches
(35.9 x 47.9 cm.)
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, in memory of her father, Joseph H. Hazen, 2000
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]").