Anniversary Program
100 Years of Joseph Beuys

Beuys Soziale Plastik GIF © Lutz Mommartz

Few German cultural figures of the 20th century were as controversial as the action artist, sculptor, draftsman, art theorist, and professor Joseph Beuys (1921–1986). His work dealt with a new, expanded concept of art that included the political co-creation of society.

We’ve gathered events on Joseph Beuys from our colleagues and partners in the region — and included some 2021 perspectives on the artist’s work.
 

Joseph Beuys would have turned 100 in May 2021. In a video series, we focus on the history of the impact of his ideas and art. Artists from all over the world talk about the reception and reverberation of Beuys in their own thinking and work. We want to avoid heroic narratives and look less at Beuys' legacy than at the diverse appropriations, confrontations, critiques and questions about this legacy.
Joseph Beuys would have turned 100 in May 2021. In a video series, we focus on the history of the impact of his ideas and art. Artists from all over the world talk about the reception and reverberation of Beuys in their own thinking and work. We want to avoid heroic narratives and look less at Beuys' legacy than at the diverse appropriations, confrontations, critiques and questions about this legacy.

Social sculpture is an art-theoretical term used to describe art that aims to have a formative effect on society. Societies, actions and processes in which people creatively change conditions and shape them are also referred to in this way. On the basis of an extended concept of art, the German artist Joseph Beuys used these terms to explain his idea of a society-changing art. In explicit contrast to an understanding based on formal aesthetics, the concept of art propagated by Beuys includes those human actions that are aimed at structuring and shaping society. Thus, the concept of art is no longer limited to the materially tangible artifact.
Social sculpture is an art-theoretical term used to describe art that aims to have a formative effect on society. Societies, actions and processes in which people creatively change conditions and shape them are also referred to in this way. On the basis of an extended concept of art, the German artist Joseph Beuys used these terms to explain his idea of a society-changing art. In explicit contrast to an understanding based on formal aesthetics, the concept of art propagated by Beuys includes those human actions that are aimed at structuring and shaping society. Thus, the concept of art is no longer limited to the materially tangible artifact.

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