“But I believe above all that I wanted to build the palace of my memory,” the German artist Anselm Kiefer has said of his practice, “because my memory is my only homeland.” Famous for his monumental paintings and installations, Kiefer builds layers of historical reference into his work—an insistent form of remembering. He creates those layers with natural materials such as earth, lead, wood, sand, and hay, all enmeshed in oil paint. In this exhibition four new monumental works are on display. They refer to the historic peace summit between King Henry VIII and King Francis I, which took place in a field in Pas-de Calais, France. Within a year, the hope of peace had devolved into war. Kiefer’s canvases catch and hold the golden vision trampled into mud and straw and death, an army of scythes reaping men instead of crops. —E.C.
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