Anselm Kiefer receives early support from his father, the art teacher Albert, who instructs him in the pictorial techniques such as linocut, sand painting and clay work. In 1963, he wins the “Jean Walter Prize” of the European Organisation for Travel Study Scholarships, with which he travels through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France and produces numerous sketches. Nevertheless, he first tries studying law and Romance philology, which he abandons prematurely. He studies art from 1966-1968, first in Freiburg under Peter Dreher, and then at the Academy in Karlsruhe under Horst Antes. With his final thesis “Besetzungen (Occupations)”, which consists of Hitler salutes in various public places in Europe, he causes a scandal.

Due to this scandal he is sponsored by Joseph Beuys. His contribution to the 1980 Biennale di Venezia, which now brings him international success, causes further outrage. He receives major exhibitions in UK, USA, and Japan. In 1991, he leaves Germany to travel to Asia, Australia, and Mexico, where he takes photographs and writes. In 1993, he continues his artistic work in France, also lecturing at the Collège de France. First in Barjac and later in Paris, he builds large studio complexes that allow him to work without restrictions. His art is honoured with prizes and awards, including the Adenauer de Gaulle Prize and, as the first visual artist, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. The artist’s work is shown at the documenta VI, VII and VIII and in numerous monumental exhibitions worldwide.