Seeing an Anselm Kiefer painting had been a dream of mine since the day I discovered his Margarete painting (left) in a newspaper article some seven years ago. Two and a half years ago, I spent a blissful hour and a half at the Royal Academy, being blown away by pretty much every painting (bar the first three, the earlier years).

Being in the presence of an Anselm Kiefer painting is an experience unlike any other. His canvasses are huge, the topics often bleak, yet he manages to not only give visual depth to every single painting, but also an unlikely sense of hope. His use of flowers, paper, straw, salt, ash, lead, and even diamonds, is extraordinary and makes each of his canvas feel alive. It’s the first time, since going to the Rodin museum, I’ve had to make a conscious effort not to touch the artwork. Most of the paintings are part of private collections and how jealous I am of those people! This is what art is all about: an intense, inspiring and a deeply visceral experience.

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