Anselm Kiefer Awarded Queen Sonja Lifetime Achievement Award For Printmaking


Renowned German artist Anselm Kiefer has been honoured with the esteemed Queen Sonja Lifetime Achievement Award, marking a significant recognition of his unparalleled contributions to the world of printmaking.

The announcement of this prestigious accolade is a testament to Kiefer’s pioneering use of woodcuts and his profound impact on the art form. The award ceremony, scheduled for June 5th and 6th, 2024, in Bodø, European City of Culture 2024, will see Her Majesty Queen Sonja present Kiefer with this distinguished honour. Kiefer joins a prestigious list of past winners, including luminaries such as David Hockney, Paula Rego, and William Kentridge, further cementing his legacy in graphic art.

Known for his monumental body of work that delves deep into cultural, literary, and philosophical themes, Kiefer’s artistry transcends traditional boundaries. Drawing inspiration from diverse sources ranging from mythology to historical events, his creations offer profound insights into Germany’s post-war identity and history.

Utilising a wide array of media, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and artist books, Kiefer’s oeuvre poignantly reflects the complexities of human experience. His unique ability to merge art and literature, coupled with his evocative imagery and symbolism, has earned him widespread acclaim and recognition on the global stage.

In addition to honouring Kiefer’s illustrious career, the Queen Sonja Art Foundation will also announce two other awards in May: The Queen Sonja Print Award 2024 and The QSPA Inspirational Award, further highlighting the Foundation’s commitment to promoting excellence and accessibility in graphic art.

Established in 2011, the HM Queen Sonja Art Foundation has fostered interest in graphic art and supported emerging talent. Focusing on making art more accessible to the public, the Foundation continues to play a pivotal role in enriching cultural discourse and celebrating artistic innovation.

Anselm Kiefer is a noted German artist known for his monumental and evocative works exploring themes of history, identity, and mythology. Born on March 8, 1945, in Donaueschingen, Germany, Kiefer grew up in the aftermath of World War II, a period that profoundly influenced his artistic vision.

After studying law and Romance languages, Kiefer pursued art at the School of Fine Arts in Freiburg im Breisgau and later at the Art Academy in Karlsruhe. During this time, he met the influential artist Joseph Beuys, whose teachings and philosophies would greatly impact his work.

Kiefer’s art is characterised by its multidisciplinary approach, incorporating painting, sculpture, installation, and mixed media elements. He is best known for his large-scale paintings, often featuring symbolic imagery drawn from history, literature, and mythology. His use of materials such as lead, concrete, and burned books adds layers of meaning and texture to his artworks.

Throughout his career, Kiefer has exhibited his work internationally and has been collected by major museums and institutions worldwide. His powerful and thought-provoking creations continue to captivate audiences and stimulate conversations about the complexities of human existence.

Photo of Anselm Kiefer by Summer Taylor © 2024

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