Anselm Kiefer Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom 2000

Artwork details

Anselm Kiefer born 1945
Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom
Lasst Tausend Blumen Blühen
Date 2000
Medium Oil paint, shellac resin, wood, metal string and screws on canvas
Dimensions Support: 3803 x 2805 x 54 mm
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund, Edwin C. Cohen and Lord and Lady Jacobs 2002
Not on display

Display caption

Kiefer travelled in China in 1993, and some years later made a series of paintings based on photographs taken there. The title refers to a 1957 speech in which Mao encouraged greater freedom of expression, declaring ‘Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend’. This freedom was short-lived, as the intellectuals who criticised Mao were swiftly arrested. Kiefer portrays a statue of Mao partially obscured by dried roses and tangled brambles symbolising the profusion and withering of revolutionary dreams.

June 2008

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