Untitled (skull after Cezanne)
This painting explores the history of Western 20th-century painting by taking inspiration from artist Paul Cezanne. Kiefer employs Cezanne's expressive brushstrokes and subtle color palette, as well as a classic skull motif as this image's primary subject. Kiefer chooses to explore the potential for painting to serve as a source of aesthetic change, much like Cezanne and other Western art masters. The artist aims to accomplish this by creating compositions that play with kitsch while exalting the mundane—teasing the positive relationship between the history of images and our contemporaneous social values.
Jan Kiefer’s paintings experiment with the traditional boundaries of composition in 20th-century Western art. His work questions painting’s potential as a source of aesthetic change and other similar critical dogmas, while engaging with socio-political issues. Kiefer's canvases play with both the kitsch and the mundane, teasing the relationship between the history of images and our contemporaneous social values.