Wooden Room is part of a series of monumental paintings Kiefer made while studying under the artist Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf. Rendered in oil paint and charcoal on burlap, the deeply recessed space—Kiefer's attic studio in a converted schoolhouse—seems as if it could be entered by the viewer, despite its slightly upturned floor. Devoid of objects, the room itself is the subject of the painting, animated by Kiefer's lifelike rendering of wood grain. The artist, who was born at the fall of the Third Reich, examines Germany's troubled and often suppressed recent history in his works.
Gallery label from What is Painting? Contemporary Art from the Collection, July 7–September 17, 2007 .