Your Golden Hair, Margarete

Anselm Kiefer German

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This work’s title comes from "Death Fugue" by the Romanian-Jewish poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan (1920–1970). Widely read in postwar Germany, the poem is set in a concentration camp and narrated by the Jewish inmates, who suffer under the camp’s blue-eyed commandant. Singing "your golden hair, Margarete / your ashen hair, Shulamith," they contrast German womanhood, personified by Margarete, and Jewish womanhood (Shulamith was King Solomon’s dark-haired beloved in the Song of Songs). Here, as in most of Kiefer’s more than thirty works devoted to Margarete, the German heroine is represented by only a symbol of her "golden hair"—sheaves of wheat in the countryside.

Your Golden Hair, Margarete, Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945), Watercolor, gouache, and acrylic on paper

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