Thursday, May 14, 2009

1000 Words Kiefer Image


In this image by Anselm Kiefer, Kiefer paints a long pathway far into the horizons. The painting itself looks like it has smudging technique for the sky and the background. The grass on the sides has a similar style. However the tall grass on the left a draw individually and all slant to the right. There are shorter pieces of grass painted in as well. They are placed near the pathway and all stand upwards. Kiefer uses different tones of teal, brown, green, yellow, and black to create a rather mucky grass. They are all dark and withered looking. The left side of the rode however looks murkier than the other side. The grass is taller and unmaintained. There is blacker in the grass as well. The right side looks more like a short grass meadow. It also has three trees sticking up. The trees are white and bare. They have no leaves and have black streaks going down it side. The grassland is mostly barren except for the trees and the road. There are no homes, no people, or buildings. The grassland just stretches to the horizon, uninterrupted. It is actually hard to see where the horizon line is, as the grass seems to just blend in with the sky while the road just continues.


The road greatly contrasts with the rest of the painting. The road lays right smack dab in the middle of the image and continues on to the horizon line. Compared to the rest of the painting the road has a much lighter tone. It has different shades of white, yellow, and even light blue. The white really makes it stand out away from the rest of the world which surrounds it in the mucky swamp colors. The random blue streaks, which give a relaxing tone, allow the road to look more inviting than the rest of the surrounding environment. The blue reminds me of flowers or even the blue sky.  The blue makes me think “that is the road I want to take.”  The road seems to continue on and even become bluer. Usually things that are farther away have a cooler tone. I believe that the use of the blue was more than just to give the image depth. It seems the use of blue gives the message that the road leads to a better place, even if it is a very long path.


The sky however is rather odd. There seem to be no real defining line between the grass and road to the sky above.  There is a large contrasting line about three fourths up the page. However the road continues regardless of the shift in color. Before the shift in color, the grass is incredibly dark and only contains green, yellow, black and some orange. However, after the line, blue starts to blend in with the mixture.  This creates the image of a sky above the horizon line. The path continues uninterrupted. The path looks almost like it is leading up to heaven. The grass seems to mix in with the sky and the path way seems to never end. The mix of the sky and the ground gives a message to the viewer. It seems to give the message that viewers should try and take a journey and try to find something new on the end of the road. Maybe Kiefer is referring to how life is like journey. Everyone takes a road that leads to somewhere. Maybe this road leads up to the world above.


As the road continues to extend upwards, it also has an incline towards the sky. It could be because the hill is rising up. However I believe Kiefer did this on purpose to show the road is reaching up to the heavens. As the pathway continues, everything around it becomes lighter and less murky. It seems more tranquil with the blue used in the background. However, the image becomes less detailed. The individual pieces of grass become mashed together to lines after lines of paint in the background. This allows the image to blend in with the sky. The lack of detail could be a message as well. It could show that viewers have less knowledge about the world far ahead of them compared to what is close to them. If I was on that road, and I could not see the details, I would only follow the road because it looks much more inviting. The land around me is barren, dark, and seems lifeless. The road ahead, although mysterious, contains the blue of the sky. Everything around the road seems bluer and lighter. The road seems to lead a path up and beyond the dark surroundings. It lacks detail and is mysterious, however it gives more of a reason to move on and explore it. To road seems to lead to a better place. It is almost like a road to the sky. It seems like it is a road to heaven. Every line seems to have it strokes towards the center of the page. The lines all flow to the brighter center of the canvas.


Lastly the image also contains odd words right in the middle of the image. I believe the words are “Markische Heide.”  It is written in cursive and written right on the center of the path. M√§rkische Heide is actually a part of Germany. This image could be a painting of a landscape from there. This image could have been from anywhere; however the location was very important for Kiefer. It also leads me to wonder why was the words placed there. Most of the time, background information would be placed outside of the image in its description. However, Kiefer felt it was necessary to include the name inside the image. I also wonder why the name placed right in the middle of the image on the road. The words could have been placed off in the dark grass where it would be harder to see. However, Kiefer placed it right in the middle where it contrasted with the white road and stood out right in the middle of the canvas.

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