I am impressed by Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, but I was overwhelmed by the works of Anselm Kiefer. I had heard of him, but I was not prepared for this deep symbolism, especially in "For Paul Celan 2005", with lines from a poem by Paul Celan, or "Sternenfall 1998" (Falling Stars). I could have stood there for hours and just get lost in the atmosphere and the details.
A short extract from Wikipedia:
Kiefer ranks among the best-known and most successful, but also most disputed German artists after World War II. In his entire body of work, Kiefer argues with the past and addresses taboo and controversial issues from recent history. Themes from Nazi rule are particularly reflected in his work; for instance, the painting "Margarethe" (oil and straw on canvas) was inspired by Paul Celan's well-known poem "Todesfuge" ("Death Fugue"). Polemical discussions in the media over the value of his artistic work have taken place for many decades.
His works are characterised by a dull/musty, nearly depressive, destructive style and are often done in large scale formats. In most of his works, the use of photography as an output surface is prevalent and earth and other raw materials of nature are often incorporated. It is also characteristic of his work to find signatures and/or names of humans, legendary figures or places particularly pregnant with history in nearly all of his paintings. All of these are encoded sigils through which Kiefer seeks to process the past; this often gets him linked with a style called "New Symbolism."