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Joseph Beuys Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)
Joseph Beuys was in Krefeld but grew up mainly in two nearby towns, Kleve and Rindern. Beuys became associated with the Fluxus movement, eventually becoming its most significant and famous member. He moved from drawing toward performance art motivated by his belief that art has a larger role to play in society. In 1979 Beuys became a founding member of the German Green Party.
Felt Suit
Defense of Nature,
Animal Woman
Encounter with Beuys


Encounter with Beuys, 197484.
Vitrine containing felt, copper, fat, and cord, 75 x 78 5/8 x 23 1/2 inches.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Encounter with Beuys (a title probably given by de Domizio) consists of a vitrine containing felt, fat, copper pieces, and cord, the materials he used repeatedly to describe significant events in his life. The first two materials refer to the pivotal incident in his life, a wartime plane crash in which mountain people saved his life by wrapping him in felt and fat; copper was used by Beuys to represent spiritual conduction, while cord as a readymade has fascinated artists from Piero Manzoni to Dorothea Rockburne. The placement of autobiographical objects in a vitrine relates particularly to his major 1985 exhibition in Naples, where he installed a series of golden plates and vitrines, suggesting the burial hall of a king. Beuys favored the vitrine for its ready association to ethnographic installations. As part of his fusion of rituals and their fetishes, he believed that art and artifacts could not always be distinguished from one another.

Cornelia Lauf
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