Art: Germany's Master in The Making

Anselm Kiefer paints dense works that rise to greatness

It seems from Anselm Kiefer's retrospective, which has just opened at the Art Institute of Chicago, that at 42 this German artist is the best painter of his generation on either side of the Atlantic. Given most of the talent we have, this may not sound like much of a compliment. Certainly Kiefer's limitations are inescapable: his drawing lacks fluency and clarity and his color is monotonous, though the former seems to reinforce the grinding earnestness of his style and the latter contributes to its lugubrious intensity. What counts, is that he is one of the few visual artists in the...

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