Joseph Beuys The End of the Twentieth Century 1983–5

Joseph BeuysThe End of the Twentieth Century 1983–5

Joseph Beuys

The End of the Twentieth Century

Joseph Beuys, The End of the Twentieth Century  1983–5

Joseph Beuys’s The End of the Twentieth Century addresses themes of finality and death, but also ideas of regeneration through nature. Blocks of basalt are arranged across the floor. Basalt is volcanic in origin, and Beuys associated it with the earth’s ancient energy and geological time. Beuys cut a conical hole in each of the slabs. He then ‘treated’ this ‘wound’ by lining the hollow with insulating clay and felt, before re-inserting the stone plugs. These filled cavities imply the potential for healing, suggesting the possibility of renewal at the end of a violent and destructive century.

Gallery label, May 2021

© DACS, 2021

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The End of the Twentieth Century
Joseph Beuys The End of the Twentieth Century 1983–5

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  • Artist

    Joseph Beuys

    1921–1986
  • Art Term

    Social sculpture

    Social sculpture is a theory developed by the artist Joseph Beuys in the 1970s based on the concept that everything …