BERLIN.- In the second half of the 20th century, the world of art found in Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) a figure whose universal aspirations and ingenious visual imagery lunged out deep into the European history of ideas. No other artist in the 20th century applied his thoughts on the relations between art and society in such a complex way as Joseph Beuys.
Twenty years after the last major exhibition of his work in Germany, and following major exhibitions in Zurich, Paris and London, the exhibition BEUYS. We are the Revolution' will give shape to this large expanse of his ideas. For the first time ever the context of his work will be outlined in great detail by way of various documents, writings, films and photographs. The presentation will be grounded in the open work and above all on Beuys himself: Beuys the artist, Beuys the thinker, Beuys the individual. Chapters of works by Beuys from the collection of Erich Marx as well as the abundance of audiovisual material from the Joseph Beuys Media Archives will be shown in vivid, dialogical juxtaposition with key works, seldom on loan, from right across Europe. Furthermore, to mark the exhibition, the prestigious STEIDL publishers will be producing a publication packed with pictures, which, analogous to the exhibition, is to set itself the challenge of trying to make sense of Beuys in his entirety as a singular phenomenon in an artistic biography.
Cult of the Artist
The artist is the core mythical figure of the Western world. For thousands of years now he has come to be worshiped in many guises: as Prometheus, prophet, genius or superman. In 2008, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) will be making this cult of the artist their major theme for the year. The primary location for the exhibition series will be the National Gallery, which was founded in 1876 as a national place of worship to honour the masters of international contemporary art. In autumn 2008, the gallery will take centre stage for the great ring' of cult artists.