Astral Snake

Anselm Kiefer German

Not on view

By 1980 Kiefer’s drawings, like his paintings, began to manifest a complex, near-alchemical approach to materials that included the use of lead, shellac, and even sand over torn and pasted photographs. Their subjects are drawn from the artist’s broad-ranging interests in history, philosophy, poetry, and mythology. In Astral Snake, Kiefer associated the encircling serpent (a carefully torn photograph of a bamboo plant), which hovers against a starry night sky, with the Gnostic image of the Ouroboros, a snake biting its own tail that connotes infinity or a circular concept of time.

Astral Snake, Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945), Torn and pasted photographs, shellac, and watercolor on photograph

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