Anselm Kiefer Honored with Prestigious Queen Sonja Lifetime Achievement Award

Anselm Kiefer | Morgenthau Plan
Anselm Kiefer, Morgenthau Plan (2012). Photo by Zarastro Art

Anselm Kiefer, renowned for his monumental textured canvases incorporating industrial found objects and organic materials, has been honored with The Queen Sonja Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating his groundbreaking influence on woodcut printmaking over the last fifty years.

Born in Donaueschingen, Germany, in 1945, Kiefer is known for his monumental canvases that explore collective memory, referencing a broad range of literary and philosophical subjects. His use of classic German woodcutting methods and his adaptations of Old Master paintings are noteworthy.

The artist integrates art and literature, combining painting, sculpture, and various media to explore historical events and ancestral epics. He often focuses on German history and mythology, particularly Wagnerian themes such as Grane, the horse from “Götterdämmerung.” He art reflects upon Germany’s post-war identity.

Kiefer’s works span paintings, installations, artist books, and various works on paper, incorporating elements like lead, concrete, and burned books. His art often features towering, decaying sunflowers juxtaposed with other imagery.

Kiefer’s unique approach involves integrating woodcuts into his paintings. In works such as “Ways of World Wisdom: The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest” and “Ways of World Wisdom: Hermann’s Battle,” he delves into Germany’s cultural heritage and its relationship with the Nazi era, emphasizing intellectual and artistic legacies amidst historical turmoil.

Kiefer’s works have been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée du Louvre, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The Albertina Museum in Vienna featured his woodcuts in 2016. His new show, “Fallen Angels,” is at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence (2024).

Queen Sonja expressed her admiration for Kiefer’s contributions to the field of printmaking. The award, to be presented by her in Bodø, Norway, the European City of Culture 2024, on June 5th and 6th, 2024, places Kiefer alongside esteemed past recipients such as Paula Rego, David Hockney, and William Kentridge.

The Queen Sonja Print Award promotes graphic art and highlights the Norwegian tradition of printmaking, exemplified by artists like Edvard Munch. As a printmaker and artist herself, Queen Sonja emphasizes the value of ensuring that art is available to everyone, which is consistent with the foundation’s objectives.

The 2011-founded HM Queen Sonja Art Foundation announces three awards every two years in an effort to support graphic art. Its goal is to establish a setting where anybody may enjoy fine prints, regardless of background in the arts. The opening of the QSPA Exhibition Space in Bispevika in 2021 marks a significant effort towards this goal.


Contact us

Fill in the form below to inquire about this artwork.

Join our newsletter and grab your free copy of Best Exhibitions Around the World in 2024.


Plus, continue to stay updated on the contemporary art world through a weekly digest of headlines and our own new articles!