Kiefer discovered lead as an artistic medium while repairing an old washing machine. It appealed to the artist because of its different applications, whether by alchemists who try to turn it into gold or by medical professionals who use it to protect patients from the harmful effects of X-rays. In Strike, Kiefer combined lead with a photograph made from exposed film that he had deliberately left too long in the fixative bath during the development process, partially destroying its emulsion and producing streaks. He aligned the lead cloud form with one of those streaks, creating a kind of lightning bolt that links the sky and the nearly abstract landscape.
private collection (from 1985; sold to d'Offay); [Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, until 1995; sold to MMA]
Cologne. Galerie Paul Maenz. "Anselm Kiefer," March 11–April 19, 1986, no. 3.
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. 39.
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.
Paul Maenz and Gerd de Vries. Anselm Kiefer. Exh. cat.Cologne, 1986.
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, p. 108, no. 47, ill. p. 109 (color).