The tension between beauty and terror, alongside the inextricable relationship between history and place, has animated Kiefer’s work since the 1970s. Drawing on the literature of cultural memory—including poetry, the Old and New Testaments, and the Kabbalah—Kiefer gives material presence to myths and metaphors. He infuses the medium of paint with startling and unconventional gestures and objects, juxtaposing it with organic and abject materials such as straw, sand, charcoal, ash, and mud. Kiefer asserts himself as an iconoclast; his paintings undergo various processes—such as being cut, burned, buried, exposed to natural elements, splashed with acid, or poured over with lead—so as to be made anew. These strategies, along with the use of materials such as lead, concrete, glass, fabric, tree roots, or burned books, create a symbolic resonance, making palpable both the movement and destruction of human life and the persistence of the lyrical and the divine.