Friday, March 23, 2012

Joseph Beuys the German experimental artist

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys was a German multi- and mixed-media artist best known for incorporating ideas of humanism, social philosophy and politics into his art. Beuys practiced everything from installation and performance art to traditional painting and "social sculpture." He was continually motivated by the belief of universal human creativity.

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One of Joseph Beuys's most theatrical installations, Blitzschlag mit Lichtschein auf Hirsch (Lightning with Stag in Its Glare) articulates the German artist's obsession with primal and elemental forces: the earth, animals, excrement, and death.

Beuys's work certainly served, in its initial contact with an audience, as a diversion. But to regard his work simply as an entertainment to nullify the realities in which it was created, is to miss the point of its revolutionary nature. For Beuys, a moment of rapture in engagement with an art article, or art as a respite from the daily grind, is a sentimental act that has no purpose in today's world.

He calls for nothing less than a complete overhaul of that system in which art is a product of a consumer society who needs paintings to decorate walls, to use as barter, or to receive momentary uplifting. "Art is," he said, "a genuinely human medium for revolutionary change in the sense of completing the transformation from a sick world to a healthy one." (Beuys quoted in Quartetto, exhibition catalog, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1984, Milano, p. 106)

"... just as you have come to me, because of what I've made, and we can talk about it ..."Beuys


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