Another award? Anselm Kiefer can genuinely not be said to lack recognition, both in his native Germany and in his adopted country of France. The 77-year-old German painter and sculptor was recently awarded the Grand Federal Cross of Merit with Star in Paris. This honor recognizes Kiefer's impressive artistic career and his contribution to coming to terms with German history.
Kiefer is known for being the first artist to have broken the taboo of depicting Nazi symbolism in his works. His work is characterized by a critical examination of Germany's painful past, earning him international recognition. In Germany, however, Kiefer has also been criticized and antagonized. This differs in France, where he has received the highest honor as a mediator between cultures.
Kiefer's influence on the art world is undisputed. He is considered one of the most important representatives of post-war German art and has received numerous awards, including the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class in 2005 and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2008.
In his acceptance speech, Kiefer emphasized that he felt he belonged to both countries and that there were no borders. The artist was born on March 8, 1945, in Donaueschingen (Baden-Württemberg) and has lived in France since 1992. The Grand Federal Cross of Merit with Star award further recognizes his life's work as an artist and his contribution to coming to terms with Germany's history.