An important fact about the German artist Anselm Kiefer is the date of his birth: 1945 – the last year of the Second World War. Kiefer was destined to grow up in the traumatised and guilt-ridden Germany that emerged from Hitler’s devastating war. The son of a teacher, he became an artist after having studied law and languages. The need to express the conflicting and agonising currents of thought in his time became a compulsion, and he evolved a visual language in which many contrasting themes and emotions collide.