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Dusseldorf's Quadriennale 2010 Opens with Joseph Beuys Exhibition
Joseph Beuys, Stripes from the house of the shaman 1964-72, 1980, Filz, Holz, Mäntel, Tierhaut, Filzrolle, Manuskript, Kupfer, Bergkristall, Mineralien, Pigmente, 340 x 655 x 1530 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 1981, Foto: # © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Foto: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
DUSSELDORF.- By effecting an inextricable unity of artistic thinking and action, Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) became one of the most charismatic creative personalities of the 20th century. His multifaceted oeuvre — which continues to exert an influence on contemporary artistic production — is still featured and discussed under the most diverse aspects. Through ten major installations and large-scale sculptural works, the exhibition “Joseph Beuys. Parallel Processes” (Sept 11, 2010 – Sept 16, 2011) at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen am Grabbeplatz in Düsseldorf examines a variety of themes and clarifies Beuys’s “expanded conception of art.” Political and artistic utopias are fused now into “social sculpture” in order to provide new perspectives onto society. During the exhibition, well-known artists will discuss their views of Beuys at the Schmela Haus.

Through his activities, Joseph Beuys expanded our concept of the work of art: he believed in the power of art to change people, and he imagined both social and artistic utopias. Manifesting itself progressively has been his worldwide influence, one that remains detectable even in the most recent art production. Among the altogether circa 300 works on view at the Kunstsammlung am Grabbeplatz and at the Schmela Haus are masterworks such as “zeige deine Wunde (Show your Wound)”; 1974/75), “The pack (das Rudel)” (1969), and “Fond IV/4”(1970/71).

A number of installations, on loan from major museums and private collections, are leaving their permanent locations for the Düsseldorf exhibition the first time since the death of the artist. Shown in Europe now for the first time is the large-scale installation “Stripes from the house of the shaman 1964-72” (1980). Also featured is a comprehensive selection of drawings, objects, plastic images, and relics from Beuys’s actions, all of which establish interrelationships between art and life in singular ways.

Coming together in “Parallel Processes” are sculptural and pictorial aspects, theoretical reflections, and art actions, along with this artist’s idiosyncratic transformations of working materials and objects, to form an extraordinary portrait of Joseph Beuys’s unique lifework. Invested with a new contemporaneity and urgency are both the sculptural qualities of his art and its performative potential. Experienced with great immediacy throughout nearly 3000 ft.² of exhibition space is the complex network structure which joins Beuys’s artistic oeuvre into a coherent totality.

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