Online caption

Throughout his career, Kiefer has explored the problematic cultural legacy inherited by artists in post-war Germany. In this composition, the artist symbolises his situation through the depiction of a painter’s palette, hanging tentatively from a burning thread. Painted thinly against an ambiguous blue-grey background, Kiefer’s image evokes the anguish left by the destructive legacy of Nazism, and the sense of shame and loss experienced by his nation after the Second World War. Pointing to the impossibility of artistic creation in this climate, the painting is related to a larger series of works by Kiefer that juxtapose palettes with images of war-torn Germany.