Joseph Beuys
  • Introduction

  • Bio

  • Exhibitions

  • Publications

Joseph Beuys

In 1973 Joseph Beuys founded the “Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research” together with Klaus Staeck; a graphic artist, lawyer, poster maker, art professor, and current President of the Academy of the Arts, Berlin. From this point onwards the two companions were creative partners in the areas of both art and politics.

Klaus Staeck was not just a source of ideas for projects, as a close confidant to Beuys he also edited his works over a number of decades. They each took part in the Documenta, though by the time Klaus Staeck was invited to Documenta 8 Beuys has passed away. For decades there was probably no other German or international artist that dominated the Documenta in Kassel as Beuys did, appearing a total of five times between 1964 and 1982

Both Staeck brothers, Klaus and Rolf, accompanied Beuys for decades as he developed his complex portfolio. They can therefore be understood as more than just experts, advocates, and admirers of Beuys’s works. Through their sure touch and steady eye they have also overseen and selected the work cycles of this universal artistic genius.

On the one hand, 3 Ton Edition is a collection of Beuys’ works in the form of a plastic book for use “under water”. Signed by the artist, Beuys himself displayed it on photographic boards for exhibition during Documenta 7.

On the other hand it contains fantastic prints in the standard “Oxe’s blood” (brick red), which was used by Beuys in accordance with ancient culture of the Sharman. They characterise the central aspect of his diverse works, which continually focus on the moving sled and the traditional animal symbol of the stag. In a famous speech given in 1972 to mark the opening of the Schmela Gallery in Düsseldorf, Beuys himself stated:
“Art works to develop a different part of humans, their sensorium, that is, it works to change the organisation of their senses. Firstly, it retains and protects the organisation of senses that has developed in humans up until today. Secondly, it is tasked with adding new sensory organs (…) in the way that one must ask, which sensory organs must humans develop through confrontation with art, which must they acquire through creativity, so that one day they can perceive more of the world than just a segment.”
The artistic endeavours of the global citizen Joseph Beuys were always connected to his fellow citizens. In 1979 he sought election to represent the Green Party in the European Parliament. In the same year he took part in the Venice Biennale with one of his main works, Das Kapital Raum 1970-1977. His leitmotifs are visible even here: The sled and the stag. They are the central symbols and elementary components in Beuy’s work, and even appear even in the form of constructed objects, in sculptures.

Christina Wendenburg
1921Born in Krefeld
1941-1945 WWII
1946Enrollment at Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
1951Master class of Ewald Mataré
From 1953First solo exhibitions and jobs
1961Appointment as lecturer for monumental sculpting at Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
1974Visiting professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg
1974Tournee in the USA

Awards (Selection)

1986Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Preis of the city of Duisburg
1984Honorary citizen of the community of Bolognano
1980Foreign honorary member at Kungliga Konsthögskolan Stockholm
1980Visiting professor at Städelschule in Frankfurt Main
1979Kaiserring oft he city of Goslar
1978Member oft he Academy of Arts in Berlin
1978Thorn-Prikker-Ehrenplakette oft he city of Krefeld
1976Lichtwark-Preis of the city of Hamburg
1976Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax
1974Visiting professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg
19524. Kunstpreis of the city Düsseldorf; Exhibition Eisen und Stahl, „Eisenhüttenwerke“, Düsseldorf

Exhibitions (Selection)

2010/2011Parallelprozesse. K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany
2009/20108 Days – Beuys in Japan, Art Tower Mito ATM, Mito, Japan
200960 Jahre. 60 Werke. Kunst in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
2008/09Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany
2005Tate Modern, London, UK
1994Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
1993/94Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
1988Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
1986Beuys zu Ehren, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München, Germany
1985/86Joseph Beuys. Palazzo Regale, 1985, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy
1985Joseph Beuys. Dibujos, Fundacion Caja de Pensiones, Sala de Exposiciones, Madrid, Spain
1985German Art in the 20th Century. Paintings and Sculpture 1905–1985, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
1985RAUM ZEIT STILLE, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany
1984MENSCHENBILD – CHRISTUSBILD/ 4. Ausstellung – Joseph Beuys, Sankt Markus Nied, Frankfurt Main, Germany
1984F.I.A.C. '84 (Foire Internationale de l'Art Contemporanain), Grand Palais, Paris, France
1984Skulptur im 20. Jahrhundert, Merian Park, Basel, Switzerland
1984Joseph Beuys. An Exhibition Based on The Ulbricht Collection, The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokio, Japan
1983/84Joseph Beuys. Hinter dem Knochen wird gezählt SCHMERZRAUM, 1941–1983, Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, Germany
1983Joseph Beuys. 12 Vitrines, Forms of the Sixties, Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, UK
1983Joseph Beuys. Drawings, City Art Gallery, Leeds, UK
1982Zeitgeist, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
1982Documenta 7, Kassel, Germany
1981Joseph Beuys. Multiplizierte Kunst 1965–1981, Sammlung Ulbricht (erste Beuys-Ausstellung in der DDR), Ständige Vertretung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Ost-Berlin
1981Joseph Beuys. Arbeiten aus Münchner Sammlungen, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München, Germany
1981Terremoto 1981, (Aktionsplastik), Palazzo Braschi, Rome, Italy
DAS KAPITAL RAUM 1970–1977, InK. Halle für internationale neue Kunst, Zürich, Switzerland
1980Joseph Beuys. Alternative politics and the work of the FIU, Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
Stripes from the house of the shaman, 1964–1972; Words which can hear, Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, UK
1979/80Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
1979/80Zeichnungen, Tekeningen, Drawings, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
1979KUNST = KAPITAL. Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Galerie Denise René/Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf, Germany
1979Joseph Beuys. Aus Berlin: Neues vom Kojoten, Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, USA
1979XVth Biennale von São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
1978Beuys-Tracce in Italia, Palazzo Ducale, Genua, Italy
1977Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany
1977The secret block for a secret person in Ireland, Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland
1976Joseph Beuys. Fond IV/4, Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, Germany
1976Bilder, Objekte, Galerie Klewan, Wien, Austria
1975Beteiligung an der Ausstellung Je/Nous – exposition d'art d'aujourd'hui, Musée d'Ixelles, Brüssel, Belgium
1975beuys-sculpture, gezeigt wird das Environment „RICHTKRÄFTE '74“, René Block Gallery, New York, USA
1974/75Surealität – Bildrealität 1924–1974, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
1974Tracce in Italia, Modern Art Agency, Naples, Italy
1974Joseph Beuys. Collection Speck 1948–1972, Multiples, Livres, Catalogues, Bama Galerie, Paris, France
1974Collected Editions II, John Gibson Gallery, New York, USA
1973Joseph Beuys. Zeichnungen von 1946 bis 1972, Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf
1973Joseph Beuys. Multiples, Galerie Grafikmeyer, Karlsruhe
1973Joseph Beuys. Gesammelte Editionen 1965–1972, Galerie Loehr, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
1973Joseph Beuys. drawings 1947–1972, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, USA
1972Documenta 5, Kassel
1972Arena und Aktion: Vitex Agnus Castus, Lucio Amelio, Modern Art Agency, Naples, Italy
19727 Exhibitions, Ausstellung von Filmen und Videotapes, Tate Gallery, London, UK
1971Joseph Beuys. Zeichnungen und Objekte, Galerie Art Intermedia, Cologne, Germany
1971Joseph Beuys. Aktioner Aktionen, Zeichnungen und Objekte aus der Sammlung van der Grinten und Jost Herbig, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
1970Joseph Beuys. Zeichnungen aus der Sammlung van der Grinten, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria
1970Zeichnungen von Joseph Beuys aus der Sammlung van der Grinten, Museum Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
1969/70Joseph Beuys. Werke aus der Sammlung Karl Ströher, Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland
1969Sammlung Karl Ströher, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
1969Sammlung Karl Ströher, Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
1968Documenta 4, Kassel, Germany
1968Joseph Beuys. Zeichnungen, Fettplastiken, Wide White Space Gallery, Antwerpen, Netherlands
1966Handzeichnungen, Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, Wien, Austria
1964Documenta 3, Kassel, Germany
1961Joseph Beuys. Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, Ölbilder, plastische Bilder aus der Sammlung van der Grinten, Museum Haus Koekkoek, Kleve
1953Josef Beuys. Plastik, Graphik, Haus van der Grinten, Kranenburg
1947Junge Ernte, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany

Books/Catalogs (Selection)

Jörg Schellmann (Kat.): Joseph Beuys. Eine farbige Welt. Objekte, Plastiken, Drucke 1970–1986, Schellmann Art, München, 1. bis 30. Juni 2011. München 2011
Joseph Beuys. Parallelprozesse, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 11. September 2010 bis 16. Januar 2011. München 2010
Eugen Blume/ Cathrine Nichols (Hrsg.): Beuys. Die Revolution sind wir, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 3. Oktober 2008 bis 25. Januar 2009. Göttingen 2008
Eva Beuys (Hrsg.): Joseph Beuys. Das Geheimnis der Knospe zarter Hülle, Texte 1941–1986. München 2000
Reinhard Ermen: Joseph Beuys. Reinbek bei Hamburg 2007, 2. Auflage 2010
Susanne Willisch, Bruno Heimberg (Hrsg.): Joseph Beuys. Das Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts. Die Umsetzung vom Haus der Kunst in der Pinakothek der Moderne München. München 2007
Monika Angerbauer-Rau: Beuys-Kompass. Ein Lexikon zu den Gesprächen von Joseph Beuys. Köln 1998
Werner Hofmann: Die Moderne im Rückspiegel. Hauptwege der Kunstgeschichte. München 1998
Hiltrud Oman: Joseph Beuys. Die Kunst auf dem Weg zum Leben. München 1998
Clara Bodenmann-Ritter: Joseph Beuys. Jeder Mensch ein Künstler. Gespräche auf der documenta 5/1972. Neuauflage 1991
Armin Zweite: Beuys zu Ehren, Lenbachhaus München, 16. Juli bis 2. November 1986
Volker Harlan, Rainer Rappmann, Peter Schata: Soziale Plastik. Materialien zu Joseph Beuys. Achberg 1976

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