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Joseph Beuys
Drawings and multiples

8thSeptember- 9thOctober 2005


Sprovieri is pleased to present you an exhibition of significant drawings and multiples by Joseph Beuys (1921- 1986). Joseph Beuys is universally celebrated as one of the most important and revolutionary European artists of the last century. Through his creative projects, Beuys blurred the boundaries between art and life, developing performances, installations, sculptures and drawings with an intricate system of meaning. No ordinary artist, he was also a shaman, showman, teacher, and tireless debater. The exhibition includes photographic and hand-written records from these monomentous and transient events. Also included are drawings and vitrines. He regularly worked with felt, animal fat and wax believing them to be of universal relevance to the human struggle for survival



Born into a catholic family in northwestern Germany, in 1940 Beuys joined the airforce as a combat pilot and radio operator. The process of coming to terms with his involvement in the war is a constant subtext in much of his work. After the war Beuy’s enrolled in the Düsserdolf Academy of Art to study sculpture. He returned to the Academy in 1961 to take a professorship, becoming an influential teacher. In the 1960s he was linked to the Fluxus movement, whose ideas were a catalyst for Beuys’s own performances and his evolving concept of artist as agitator for social change. In the 1970s he became increasingly active in politics, campaigning for educational reform, grassroots democracy and the Green Party.



Beuys strongly believed that art had the power to shape a better society and once stated that ‘It was simply impossible for human beings to bring their creative intention into the world any other way than through action.’ this strength of conviction led Beuys to push the boundaries of established artforms, to include human action and large-scale sculptural environments exploring universal social concerns..The profoundly experimental nature of his work established Beuys as a founding father of the German avant-garde. Beuys’s legacy continues to resonate with a new generation of artists working today in media ranging from sculpture to film.