Anselm Kiefer, (b. 1945, Germany) is a German painter and sculptor. His works incorporate materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead, and shellac. He studied with Joseph Beuys and Peter Dreher during the 1970s. The poems of Paul Celan have played a role in developing Kiefer’s themes of German history and the horror of the Holocaust, as have the spiritual concepts of Kabbalah. Kiefer’s works are characterised by an unflinching willingness to confront his culture’s dark past, and unrealised potential, in works that are often done on a large, confrontational scale well suited to the subjects. It is also characteristic of his work to find signatures and/or names of people of historical importance, legendary figures or historical places. All of these are encoded sigils through which Kiefer seeks to process the past; this has resulted in his work being linked with the movements New Symbolism and Neo–Expressionism.