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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Die Orden der Nacht

Die Orden der Nacht


Anselm Kiefer

German, born 1945

Kiefer, a German artist who lives in France, has made a series of paintings in which a man lies on his back in the yoga posture shavasana, or corpse position. These works have strong continuities with the themes of his earlier art: humanity's bittersweet relationships with nature, the cycle of life and death, and our longing for metamorphosis to a more spiritual condition.

The Orders of the Night shows the solitary man lying in a field of colossal dying sunflowers, whose seeds will soon produce new life. Sunflowers inevitably recall Vincent Van Gogh, who painted them as vibrant macrocosmic symbols.
Acrylic, emulsion, and shellac on canvas
140 x 182 1/4 in. (355.6 x 462.9 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Hedreen
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Anselm Kiefer and Germanic Tradition, June 4, 1999 - Jan. 2, 2000.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, First Person Singular, May 31, 2001 - Mar. 17, 2002.

London, England, Royal Academy of Art, Anselm Kiefer, Sept. 27 - Dec. 14, 2014. Text by Soriano, Kathleen, et al. Cat. no. 55, pp. 158, 227, reproduced pp. 158-159.

Paris, France, Centre Pompidou, Anselm Kiefer, Dec. 23, 2015 - Apr. 18, 2016.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Material Difference: German Perspectives, Mar. 1, 2019 - Apr. 26, 2020.
Published ReferencesGayford, Martin. "Weight of the World: Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy," on Blouin ArtInfo (, September 26, 2014, illus.

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