Anselm Keiifer Breaking The Vessels Analysis

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Anselm Keifer is a German painter and sculptor who was born on March 8, 1945 in Donaueschingen, Germany. Kiefer was born a couple years before the end of World War II and then later attended grammar school in Rastatt, Germany. In 1966, Kiefer started to study arts in in Freiburg, Karlsruhe, where he studied under Peter Dreher who is a realist and figurative painter. Keifer was born into the darkness of Nazi Germany just as World War II was ending, and this provoked Keifer’s work to resemble the horrors his home country experienced. Kiefer once said, “I do not identify with Nero or Hitler but I have to reenact what they did just a little bit in order to understand their madness.” In the beginning of his art career, Kiefer photographed himself…show more content…
Breaking of the Vessels is a massive sculpture that expresses the idea of creation from ancient Jewish mystical writing in the Kabbalah. The history of the Kabbalah is that the values of God were broken into ten vessels that were not strong enough to contain those attributes. The breaking of the actual vessels is to show the imperfection of the world and mankind. The inequalities that are expressed through mortal mind are what broke the vessels and let forth the attributes that express God. With the overall destruction of the piece reflects the fragility and imperfection of human existence. The Breaking of the Vessels is supposed to remind us of the deep resonance of the human consciousness and its transformation. This sculpture is the beginning of his imaging of the union of opposites. The deconstructed bookcase is crammed with books of lead and glass that which allude to the richness of Jewish culture and the multiple times this culture has been threated throughout history. The lead markers that are attached to the side of the bookcase symbolize the ten vessels of the divine essence which are the attributes of God. From the destruction of the piece is represents the time of the Nazi Germany when the windows of synagogues and Jewish owned storefronts were smashed and destroyed from the infamous Kristallnacht, otherwise known as the night of broken glass. The

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