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A graffiti painting by the Düsseldorf artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) with the slogan "Anyone who doesn't want to think flies out" adorns a house wall in Düsseldorf (North Rhine-Westphalia).Photo (detail): Horst Ossinger; © dpa

100 Years Joseph Beuys

Action artist, activist, sculptor, draughtsman and professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy: Joseph Beuys would have turned 100 in 2021. His ideas, works and political commitment had a significant impact on the art landscape of the post-war period. His approach of social sculpture influenced the art world and society. The statement: “Everyone is an artist” is more relevant than ever.

Left: Joseph Beuys at the 4th documenta. Kassel. Photograph. 1968 | Right: Marcie Miller Gross, Composition #7Photo (detail): Left: Joseph Beuys © picture-alliance / IMAGNO/Christian Skrein | Right: Marcie Miller Gross © EG Schempf

Unconventional: The Legacy of Joseph Beuys

Visit the Goethe Pop Up Kansas City to view their exhibition exploring the continuing influence of German artist Joseph Beuys on four contemporary artists: Karen McCoy, Jarrett Mellenbruch, Marcie Miller Gross and SHENEQUA. The exhibition will be available to view from Wed – Fri, 3 – 6 PM, Sat, 11– 2 PM. We ask that all visitors wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Beuys2021© Beuys2021

Podcast: “The Earth is speaking”

One of the central cooperation projects between the beuys2021 team and the Goethe-Institut is the podcast "The Earth is Speaking". In a critical analysis, different perspectives from Germany and abroad shed light on the relevance of Beuys today, his work and his impact on artists worldwide.

Video series: #aboutbeuys

International artists deal with the heritage of Joseph Beuys.

Screenshot  © Armin Mühsam

Armin Mühsam

“Marcel Duchamp's silence is overrated”. Beuys wrote this sentence on a sheet of paper during a live television broadcast in 1964. The action was part of a Fluxus performance and referred to the Fluxus artists' debate on ''Duchamp's concept of art''. In his video, Armin Mühsam contrasts the legacy of the two artists.

Screenshot  © Lê Giang

Lê Giang

The Vietnamese artist Lê Giang sees in Beuys' work an inspiration for life after the pandemic and an urgent reminder to change ourselves to make the world a better place.

Screenshot  © Asbestos


The Irish street artist Asbestos first saw Beuys' black panels in Dublin. Since then, he has been fascinated by the idea of taking ordinary materials from the city and creating works of art.

Screenshot  © Tisna Sanjaya

Tisna Sanjaya

“Anyone who doesn’t want to think will be thrown out“ is a famous phrase by Beuys. The works of the Indonesian artist Tisna Sanjaya are directed, especially in the pandemic, to those who do not think along

Screenshot  © Parvathi Nayar

Parvathi Nayar

Entropy is a measure of the disorder that a system reveals. Inspired by Beuys' installation Plight, the Indian artist Parvathi Nayar deals with the physical term and the material felt. The artwork, a felt mask is a homage to the plight of our time.

Screenshot  © Fondacion Klemm

Fondacion Klemm

The Czech-Argentine artist Federico Klemm (1942-2002) was an admirer of Beuys. Art critic Julio Sánchez and artist Pablo Marchetti talk about Klemm and his fascination with Beuys and felt suits.

Screenshot  © Viktória Monhor

Viktória Monhor

A tree and a poster that says it: A very important message that is of interest to everyone. Hungarian artist Viktória Monhor shows that less is more.

Screenshot  © Yacine Tilala

Yacine Tilala

The American artist with Senegalese and Mauritanian roots Yacine Tilala takes inspiration from a Joseph Beuys interview in her video and creates her own work of art. The body is at the centre of it.

Screenshot  © Ance Vilnite

Ance Vilnite

In Beuys' eyes, the community itself is the material and every individual is an artist. In her video, Latvian artist Ance Vilnite refers to the concept of social sculpture and sees in every action a chance to shape it. 

Screenshot  © Kristof Kintera

Kristof Kintera

There can be no art without Beuys – says Czech artist Kristof Kintera, describing Beuys as an icon and mystic whose artistic perspective can lead us out of a poorly functioning society.

Screenshot  © Marzia Farhana

Marzia Farhana

To change society, it is important to ensure free education, free information and free participation. The artist Marzia Farhana from Bangladesh tells how she implements Joseph Beuys' Expanded Concept of Art in her projects.

Screenshot  © Luchezar Boyadjiev

Luchezar Boyadjiev

How can a personal or a collective trauma be overcome? The Bulgarian artist Luchezar Boyadjiev explains how his work seeks to heal society through reconciliation.

Screenshot  © Robert Svarc

Robert Svarc

Beuys is still alive and his work is a preparation for the complex, irritating 21st century - says the Slovak artist Robert Svarc and presents his thoughts on Beuys’ legacy.

Screenshot  © Susanne Kriemann

Susanne Kriemann

Is a museum allowed to change the meaning of a deceased artist’s works? German artist Susanne Kriemann tells how an exhibition by Beuys shaped her understanding of art.

Screenshot  © Zaki Al-Maboren

Zaki Al-Maboren

Have you ever been to Kassel? The German-Sudanese artist Zaki Al-Maboren reflects on Beuys’ artwork "7,000 Oaks", which was part of the art exhibition documenta 7.

Screenshot  © Kalas Liebfried

Kalas Liebfried

Compared to other post-war artists, Beuys is still relevant. The Bulgarian artist Kalas Liebfried deals with Beuys’ artistic legacy in his works.

Goethe-Institut projects worldwide

Beuys will be Beuys © Eugen Korda

Beuys will be Beuys

Joseph Beuys is a special chapter in art history, and in 2021 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the most influential and controversial artists of the 20th century. Who was and who is Beuys today?

Joseph Beuys © Courtesy Video Data Bank of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

100 Years of Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys would have turned 100 in 2021. In celebration, we’ve gathered events on Beuys from our colleagues and partners in the region — and included some 2021 perspectives on the artist’s work.

100 Years Joseph Beuys © Mimmo Jodice and the CODA Museum, CC BY 3.0, Detail and Sepia

100 Years Joseph Beuys

On the occasion of the 100th birthday and 35th anniversary of the death of Joseph Beuys, the Goethe-Institut Tokyo is exploring the question in events and projects: What is the significance of the artist's work and agenda today?