Kiefer spoke on Tuesday at London's Royal Academy of Arts,
which will mount the first British retrospective of the
69-year-old artist's work in an exhibition opening at the end of
"These were the first big collectors, who admired and made my
career, it wasn't in Germany," Kiefer said at a news conference
to announce the works that will be in the exhibition.
They include art from private collections and some of the
world's most prestigious museums.
Among them are canvases Kiefer painted in the early years of his
career looking at the legacy of the Third Reich, including his
paintings of spaces designed by Hitler's favorite architect,
Others are paintings of Kiefer himself in his Occupations and
Heroic Symbols series of the late 1960s and early 1970s which
show him re-enacting the Nazi salute in locations across Europe.
Kiefer said that at the time he had thought it was important to
show such scenes, because no one else in Germany was doing so,
but to paint them today "would be redundant" because Germany is
constantly re-examining what happened during the Nazi times.
He added that he did not think Nazism or its like could rise
again in Germany because Europe is "much more together".
"As long as we are in Europe this is really the key for peace,"
Kathleen Soriano, the museum's director of exhibitions, said in
a statement: "While particular segments of Kiefer's oeuvre have
been shown at galleries in this country at intervals over recent
decades, never before has a comprehensive overview taken place
in spaces befitting the monumental character of many of his
"This is an unprecedented opportunity to consider and
re-evaluate the trajectory of Kiefer's practice and the
importance of his innovations and contributions to the history
(Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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