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Oil paint, ash, stucco, chalk, linseed oil, polymer emulsion, salt, and applied elements (copper heating coil), on canvas, attached to lead foil, on plywood panels
Framed: 350 x 410 cm (137 13/16 x 161 7/16 in.)
Weight: 1,000 each panel
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1990.8
© Anselm Kiefer
The subject of railroad tracks was inspired by the artist’s photograph of the Bordeaux rail facility.
Born in the final year of World War II, Anselm Kiefer addresses the history and legacy of the Third Reich in his native Germany. "We see railway tracks anywhere and think about Auschwitz," the artist said soon after painting Lot's Wife. "It will remain that way in the long run." The drama of the railway tracks dissecting a barren landscape is heightened by the work's surface, dense with gesture and a range of materials, including salt. Referring to the fate of Lot's wife in the Book of Genesis—who was turned to a pillar of salt when she looked back at the destruction of Sodom—Kiefer frames a historical narrative within a biblical one.
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