A powerful exhibition of German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-86) is on display this summer at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, as part of the ongoing ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund
Entitled Beuys is Here, the exhibition was opened officially by Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, on 4 July, marking the halfway point of the first year of the nationwide ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund.
Throughout 2009, 18 museums and galleries across the UK will be showing over 30 ARTIST ROOMS from the collection of individual rooms dedicated to particular artists, created by the dealer and collector Anthony dOffay, and given in February 2008 to Tate and National Galleries of Scotland on behalf of the nation. ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund was devised to take those displays beyond the collections owners and reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young people.
This is the first time a national collection has been shared and shown simultaneously across the UK, made possible only through the generosity of The Art Fund, which is giving £250,000 per year to the tour, and The Scottish Government, which is giving £175,000 over three years.
Beuys Is Here comprises a display of sculptures, photographs, drawings, and watercolours as well as a selection of posters recalling live actions and events by Beuys. Key works include Fat Chair (sculpture, 1964 85) and Scala Napoletana (sculpture, 1985), on show for the first time in the UK.
Devised by the De La Warr Pavilion, the exhibition explores Beuyss ideas on economics, politics, activism, anti-establishment, teaching, learning and philosophy and raise questions as to how these ideas have extended beyond Beuys own lifetime and how they can continue to inform new thinking today.
Anthony dOffay said: "It has been a great pleasure to see ARTIST ROOMS opening across the country throughout this year. We are enormously grateful to The Art Fund and the Scottish Government for enabling Tate and National Galleries of Scotland to share the collection so widely.
We worked very closely with Joseph Beuys over the last six years of his life and from the very beginning we were determined to build a group of works destined to become part of the national collections. It is a particularly moving moment for us to see many of these works by Joseph Beuys on view at the De La Warr Pavilion, particularly Scala Napoletana, one of the last great sculptures which he completed shortly before his death and which has never been seen in the UK before."