About This Artwork
Nürnberg is a historically important city in Germany, for centuries home to the most important artisan guilds in Europe. In this painting, the famous city stands dark in the distance and the words Festspiel-Wiese, or “festival ground,” appear in the upper right corner. This very field, which Anselm Kiefer illustrates with mounds of straw and acrylic paint, was chosen by Adolf Hitler prior to World War II as a place to stage his large Nazi rallies. Nürnberg was also chosen after the war as the location of an international tribunal, which dealt with the crimes of the Holocaust and other terrors of the Nazis. There are many ghosts in this field, represented by names on cardboard that are now mostly unreadable. Nürnberg is shown as a place of memory, a place of reckoning, a place not yet ready to be replanted.