Anselm Kiefer Lilith 1987–9

Share this artwork

Artwork details

Artist
Anselm Kiefer born 1945
Title
Lilith
Date 1987–9
Medium Oil paint, ash and copper wire on canvas
Dimensions Support: 3815 x 5612 x 500 mm
support, each: 3815 x 2806 x 50 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1990
Reference
T05742
Not on display

Display caption

This horrific vision of urban sprawl was inspired by Kiefer’s visit to Sao Paulo in Brazil. Tangled copper wiring signals the breakdown of communication. The city is engulfed in an apocalyptic haze, which Kiefer created by spreading dust and earth across the painting, then burning parts of its surface. According to Hebrew mythology, Lilith was Adam’s first wife, a seductive and demonic airborne spirit. In Kiefer’s painting, Lilith seems to bring destruction from the air upon Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist buildings.

June 2008