Karl Ove Knausgaard at the NYT:
I experienced this in a fairly acute way at a Kiefer retrospective in London in 2014. Looking at one of his monumental paintings — “Black Flakes,” nearly 20 feet long and 10 feet tall, depicting a snow-covered field beneath an ashen sky, dark and apocalyptic, with rows of branches surrounding a thick book made of lead — all my thoughts seemed to be suspended, and only emotions remained. It wasn’t as if I was looking at a painting; the painting was enveloping me and filling me with its mood, which was impossible to escape. Everyone else who came into the room fell silent, too, as if they had suddenly been transported to another place within themselves. Kiefer’s pictures seemed to align with a gravity that we all knew but rarely acknowledged, a gravity that is solemn at times, horrifying at others.