Joseph Beuys

1921–1986

Joseph Beuys, ‘7000 Oak Trees’ 1982
7000 Oak Trees 1982
© DACS, 2021
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In Tate Modern

In Tate Britain

Biography

Joseph Beuys ( BOYSS, German: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈbɔʏs]; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German artist, theorist and teacher who was highly influential in international contemporary art in the latter half of the 20th century. He is a founder of the art movement known as Fluxus, and a practitioner and exemplar of happenings, and performance art. He adopted media and techniques including paint, sculpture, graphic art and installation.

His 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 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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Artworks

Artist as subject

Film and audio

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    Katie Guggenheim Recordings - Joseph Beuys

    Working with six actors and using published interviews as scripts, artist Katie Guggenheim re-staged conversations with some of the twentieth …

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