Fire on the Earth
Anselm Kiefer and the Postmodern World
Publication: Mar 92
Publication: Jun 90
32 duotones, 11 color illustrations
A philosophical case study of Kiefer's work
Born in 1945, the German painter Anselm Kiefer "represents the concerns and insecurities of postwar European intellectuals, confronted by a questionable past and a future so threatening that it tends to create despair." In this philosophical case study of Kiefer’s work, John C. Gilmour addresses a crisis that is common to twentieth-century art and aesthetic theory: the loss of confidence in the ideals and world view inherited from the Enlightenment. Modernism’s historical moment has passed, he claims, and Kiefer’s artwhich was the subject of a recent national exhibitionreveals the contours of an emerging postmodern vision.
Considering the writings of Jameson, Foucault, Baudrillard, Lyotard, and Nietzsche, among others, Gilmour shows how Kiefer’s use of literary, mythological, and other cultural texts parallels the intertextual approach common among postmodern theorists. At the same time, the artist’s cosmological questioning adds a dimension lacking among many of postmodernism’s leading proponents. The author interprets Kiefer’s art as a site where distinctions between modern and postmodern senses of representation, history, cosmology, and nature become thematic. He addresses individual paintingsthe book includes forty-four illustrationsand gives the historical, biographical, art-critical, and philosophical setting for each piece.
Table of Contents
Part I: Representation and Simulation in Postmodern Art
1. Windows, Mirrors, and Grids
2. The Crisis of Modernity: Reality and Hyperreality
3. Original Representation: Theatre of Cruelty Painting
Part II: The Artist's Texts and Cultural Dissemination
4. The Death of the Subject and the Birth of the Text
5. Narrative Knowledge and Cultural Memory
6. Cosmological and Mythical Narratives
Part III: Humanity in the Postmodern Moment
7. Technology and Historical Progress in the Postmodern Moment
8. The Postmodern Habitat
About the Author(s)
In the Series
The Arts and Their Philosophies edited by Joseph Margolis
The volumes in The Arts and Their Philosophies, edited by Joseph Margolis, include: overviews of such well-defined sub-disciplines as the philosophy of music, film, and literature; studies of important figures, schools, and movements; monographs on such topics as postmodernism, texts and interpretation, reference in fiction, and the methodology of art history; explorations of the intersection of the arts and other disciplines, such as feminism and interpretation, art and politics; and translations of major works.