Joseph Beuys


Joseph Beuys (Krefeld, 1921 – Düsseldorf, 1986) is one of the key artists of the second half of the twentieth century. His rethoric is based on the belief in the universal power of human creation and the conviction that art can prompt revolutionary changes. For him, every human being is an artist”, meaning that everyone should be able to develop his or her own creativity. Beuys defended the notion of “Social Sculpture”, meaning that sculpture needs not produce objects, but rather act or communicate thoughts that shape people’s awareness. He developed the notion of “Extended Art”, with which he encouraged the integration of art and life to yield a state in which individuals can live in harmony with their social and natural surroundings. Politically active, in 1967 founded the German Party of the Students. In 1972, his participation in Documenta 5 consisted in the organization of a program of encounters and performances during the 100 days of Documenta: Büro für Direkte Demokratie durch Volksabstimmung (Organitzation for Direct Democracy by Referendum). In 1974 founded the Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research and in 1980 is co-founder of the Green German Party. He understood debate, discussion and education as part of artistic activity.

Montse Badia