Artist Research – Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) is universally celebrated as one of the most important and revolutionary European artists of the last century. From early performances where he explored the role of artist as shaman, Beuys engaged his audience in unprecedented, provocative ways, calling upon art to be genuinely human medium for revolutionary change, “social sculpture” as he described it.

 Embarking on a creative project that blurred the boundaries between art and life, Beuys created performance objects, installations, sculptures and drawings that challenge our traditional notions of beauty and desire. The profoundly experimental nature of his work established Beuys as a founding father of the German avant-garde; he was a renowned teacher at the Düsseldorf Academy and his influence continues to resonate with a new generation of European and American artists working today.


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