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Historical referencing plays an integral role in the work

of German artist Anselm Kiefer; more pointedly the ‘starring role’.

History is intimately entwined in his creations.  It is the foundation,

the essence of the what he hopes to communicate.

Kiefer seems intrigued with the idea of history as a means

for discovery and uncovering:  of self, of the past, of the possibilities.



Even as a child, he seemed taken with the idea of preserving the

past, a history, to be later discovered/ uncovered

for critical review and revision.



“I would dig tunnels in the garden, put drawings in them and bury them.

You can see this at Barjac on a bigger scale.”

Anselm Kiefer

(quote from the telegraph.co.uk)


Barjac is a Renaissance town in southern France

It is the location of the Anselm Kiefer’s studio complex-

La Ribaute

The idea of discovering/uncovering and then creating beauty and function from

debris and ruin is manifested in the style and construction of La Ribaute,

Kiefer’s elaborate 200 acre studio complex situated

near the historic town of Barjac, France.

True to Kiefer’s method of creating things in grand proportions

La Ribaute is a more than simply a work space.

It is an incredible work place:   leaning towers of stacked concrete blocks,

multiple barns, an impressive greenhouse storage structure,

outer building structures and ‘things’ just lying about.

(image from coveringmedia.com):

anselm kiefer, La Ribaute, studio complex

Sweeping view of La Ribaute

The complex looks as one would expect of Kiefer:

a construction from destruction,

a strange juxtaposition of chaos and order,

a weird and compelling beauty

a mix of past and present:

the past in form-  reminiscent of ruins, fragments from antiquity

the present in materials-  concrete, metal

“When you have ruins you can start again.”

Anselm Kiefer

La Ribaute:  the complex

The grounds

(image from telegraph.co.uk):

anselm kiefer, studio complex, grounds

(image from the guardian):

anselm kiefer, stuido, buildings


Interior spaces

(image from maisonanila.com):

anselm kiefer, studio complex, interior

(image from arcspace.com):

anselm kiefer, studio interior

The greenhouse

(image from phaidon.com):

anselm kiefer, studio, greenshouse

(from sz-magazine.com):

  anselm kiefer, studio, greenshouse

(image from theguardian.com):

Anselm Kiefer

Things just lying about

(image from thetimes.co.uk):

anselm kiefer, studio, plane

(image from telegraph.co.uk):

anselm kiefer, studio complex, things lying about