Joseph Beuys

1921–1986

Joseph Beuys, ‘7000 Oak Trees’ 1982
7000 Oak Trees 1982
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Biography

Joseph Beuys (German: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈbɔʏs]; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German Fluxus, happening, and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist, and pedagogue.

His extensive work is grounded in concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy; it culminates in his "extended definition of art" and the idea of social sculpture as a gesamtkunstwerk, for which he claimed a creative, participatory role in shaping society and politics. His career was characterized by passionate and only rarely acrimonious open public debates on a very wide range of subjects including political, environmental, social and long term cultural trends. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century.

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