Anselm Kiefer (German, born 1945)
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite pencil on joined paper
15 3/4 x 18 7/8 in. (40 x 47.9 cm)
Denise and Andrew Saul Fund, 1995 (1995.14.4)
In 1969, near the end of his studies at the Art Academy in Karlsruhe, Germany, Kiefer staged photographs of himself in paramilitary costumes at various monuments or Romantic-style landscapes throughout Western Europe—in Switzerland, Italy, or the south of France. Wearing jodhpurs and boots or a dark green coat, Kiefer reenacted the Nazi salute—the Heil Hitler, which is, by nature of Kiefer's own Germanness and by the horrendous history such a gesture evoked, a highly provocative subject.
Part of a series of watercolors related to these photographs, Everyone Stands Under His Own Dome of Heaven reimagines the now minuscule figure of the artist in a green military coat in the midst of a vast and snow-dusted field. The transparent hemisphere under which this tiny figure stands isolates him further from the landscape that surrounds him. As Kiefer has said, "Each man has his own dome, his own perceptions, his own theories. There is no one god for all."