The paintings Anselm Kiefer showed in November at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York are huge by any standards, but you feel so much easy, flowing energy in his arm, and it takes so little time to adjust to their scope, that you wish they were bigger. The pictures, most of which are landscapes, are all at least nine feet high and ten or twelve feet across; Landschaft mit Flügel—or Landscape with Wing—the largest painting in the show, is a bit more than ten feet high and a little over eighteen feet wide. The sizes themselves aren’t record-breaking; American artists have been working with roughly similar dimensions since the Forties. But Kiefer’s paintings of orangy-yellow fields are big in a new and different way. They aren’t wall-like, they don’t resemble vast, frieze-like Oriental screens, and they don’t convey a sense of unruffled, intimidating power....


New to The New Criterion?

Subscribe for one year to receive ten print issues, and gain immediate access to our online archive spanning more than four decades of art and cultural criticism.

Popular Right Now