Palmsonntag [Palm Sunday] (2006)
About this artwork
'Palmsonntag (Palm Sunday)' refers to the Biblical story of Christ’s journey into Jerusalem shortly before his arrest and execution, when worshippers laid palm leaves in his path. Kiefer’s recent installation comprises thirty paintings featuring palm fronds and stems, alongside a palm tree cast in resin. As the prelude towards Christ’s eventual death, the story symbolises for the artist, the moment between triumph and destruction. Laid on the gallery floor, the fallen tree echoes the body of Christ before his resurrection, suggesting both mortality and eventual renewal.
- title: Palmsonntag [Palm Sunday]
- accession number: AR00038
- artist: Anselm KieferGerman (born 1945)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Installation
- materials: Palm tree and 43 works on fibreboard with clay, paint, shellac, adhesive, metal, palm fronds, fabric and paper
- date created: 2006
- measurements: Overall display dimensions variable
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © ANSELM KIEFER
The German artist Anselm Kiefer gained prominence in 1969 with a series of photographs called 'Occupations', in which he was pictured giving the Nazi salute in various locations in Europe. This was Kiefer's first attempt to deal with Germany's recent cultural and political history, an ongoing theme in his work. From the 1980s the artist also began to explore other histories, taking nordic mythology, literary and biblical themes and Jewish mysticism as subjects. Kiefer's heavily textured, large-scale artworks (including books as well as paintings) are created with unusual but symbolic materials, such as lead, straw, cloth and tar.