Anselm Kiefer wins German Book Trade Peace Prize

20th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

The German sculptor "confronts the disturbing moral message of the ruinous and the ephemeral."

Frankfurt -- German sculptor Anselm Kiefer was awarded the German Book Trade Peace Prize in Frankfurt's St Paul's Church Sunday.

The Boersenverein, the German book publishers' and booksellers' association, said Kiefer was an internationally renowned artist "who confronts the disturbing moral message of the ruinous and the ephemeral."

In his work, the 63-year-old artist has also grappled with literature and poetry, a statement from the prize jury said. The book and its form were the primary conveyor of expression for Kiefer, the jury said.

The award comes with a cash prize of 25,000 euros (34,000 dollars) and is usually given to authors who promote international understanding.

Kiefer, 63, who has lived in France since 1993, is the first artist to be given the annual prize.

On Friday, Kiefer called peace "an unachievable utopia."

"There is no such thing as final peace," Kiefer told reporters. "Peace is a utopia, something that can never be achieved. It has to be created every day anew in our heads. It is a struggle."

Kiefer's anti-war art includes warplanes made of battered lead, which are now exhibited in the Louisiana, one of Europe's top contemporary art galleries, north of the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

Kiefer said Friday he wrote a diary daily and had nearly become a writer instead of an artist.

Meanwhile, the award ceremonies were held as the 5-day international Frankfurt Book Fair came to a close Sunday. This year's fair featured 7,373 exhibitors, with Turkey as this year's special guest of honor.


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