German art after World War II

The St. Louis Art Museum this weekend opened "German Art Now," an exhibition featuring some of the most powerful images to confront the German people and the postwar art world in the last half of the 20th Century.

World War II was a trauma for everyone involved, especially Germany's victims. But German artists growing up in its aftermath were uniquely driven by pangs of national guilt and suffering as they searched for a new identity in the self-destructive wreckage of their country and its culture.Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, Joseph Beuys and other artists represented in this show struggled with these deep emotional currents as they might titanic forces--sometimes even employing symbols of their rejected Nazi past. Others, such as painter Gerhard Richter and photographer Thomas Struth, produced quieter, even unfocused works in their approach to understanding the new "new order."

There are 40 paintings, sculptures and photos in this show. The show closes Jan. 11.

The museum is at 1 Fine Arts Drive, in Forest Park; telephone 314-721-0072; www.slam.org.

Marsden Hartley in K.C.

Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has just opened "Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) American Painter."

It celebrates the Maine-born artist, author and poet who painted and wrote from such varied locales as Paris, Berlin, New York, Mexico and Bermuda but is best remembered for his rich renderings of Americana. It closes Jan. 4.

The museum is at 4525 Oak St.; phone 816-561-4000; www.nelson-atkins.org.

Western sculpture

Americana of a wilder sort has gone on view in "Wildlife and Western Heroes: Alexander Phimister Proctor, Sculptor," up through Feb. 1 at Ft. Worth's Amon Carter Museum. Proctor's outdoor sculptures have been fixtures at places as varied as the Bronx Zoo and Denver's Civic Center Plaza.

The museum is at 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd.; telephone 817-738-1933; www.cartermuseum.org.

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