Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Broken Flowers and Grass

Artist:
Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945)
Date:
1980
Medium:
Gouache, acrylic, watercolor, and shellac on photograph
Dimensions:
29 7/8 x 23 1/8in. (75.9 x 58.7cm)
Classifications:
Drawings, Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.14.32
Rights and Reproduction:
© Anselm Kiefer
On view at The Met Breuer on Floor 5
In an act of alteration and metamorphosis, during the 1980s Kiefer began reusing earlier self-portraits staged in the studio to create new works. The title Broken Flowers and Grass comes from the Middle-High German lyric poet Walther von der Vogelweide (1170–1230), who uses the phrase to reference the spot where two lovers made their bed. Dressed in a crocheted gown, the artist presented himself as if asleep, but the broken flowers and grass cover his body as if he were dead and buried, the ultimate state of transformation.
Inscription: Titled (along top edge): gebrochen Blumen unde Gras
private collection (1980–83; sold in 1983 to d'Offay); [Anthony d'Offay Gallery, 1983–95; sold to MMA]

Art Institute of Chicago. "Anselm Kiefer," December 5, 1987–January 31, 1988, unnumbered cat. (colorpl. 44; lent by a private collection).

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Anselm Kiefer," March 6–May 1, 1988, unnumbered cat.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. "Anselm Kiefer," June 14–September 11, 1988, unnumbered cat.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Anselm Kiefer," October 17, 1988–January 3, 1989, unnumbered cat.

Sezon Museum of Modern Art. "Anselm Kiefer–Melancholia," June 3–July 19, 1993, no. P–11 (as "Gebrochen Blumen unde Gras").

National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. "Anselm Kiefer–Melancholia," August 3–September 5, 1993, no. P–11.

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. "Anselm Kiefer–Melancholia," September 18–October 24, 1993, no. P–11.

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. 32.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Looking At You," January 26–September 30, 2001, no catalogue.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Surface Tension," September 15, 2009–March 15, 2010.

Mark Rosenthal. Anselm Kiefer. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago and Philadelphia, 1987, colorpl. 44.

Mark Rosenthal. Anselm Kiefer–Melancholia. Exh. cat., Sezon Bijutsukan. Tokyo, 1993, pp. 138, 223, no. P–11, ill. p. 142 (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. 72–73, 98, no. 32, ill. p. 75 (color).



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