The Essential Joseph Beuys
- ISBN 9780500092675
- 30.90 x 23.80 cm
- 160 Illustrations, 77 in colour
- First published 1997
This is a definitive survey of the work of one of the most innovative and important artists of the twentieth century
Works from every medium – drawings and watercolours, sculptures and objects, environments and actions, multiples and printed works – are brought together here to reveal the wide conceptual range of an artist who was not only a sculptor and performer, but also a teacher and revolutionary.
Beuys challenged the traditional, narrow confines of art to embrace a much broader, philosophically based political practice, formulated in the dictum ‘Everyone is an artist’. His radical agenda included the introduction of direct democracy, free access to education and economic restructuring based on ecological necessity.
Arranged chronologically, this overview reflects the changes and developments in Beuys’s art as he moved from individual practice, through a period of dialogue as a teacher, to the powerful language of the public lectures to an international audience in his later years.
Alain Borer summarizes Beuys’s œuvre, drawing out themes of extreme complexity with admirable clarity as he shows how his unique poetic approach to the creative process transformed such materials as fat, felt, honey, wax and copper into ever more fluent and unlimited artistic forms.