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Joseph Beuys

Kleef 1921 - Düsseldorf 1986

After having seen active service in the Second World War as Luftwaffe pilot above countries including Russia, Joseph Beuys chose art in 1945. From 1947 to 1951 he studied sculpture at the art academy of Dusseldorf. In the 'fifties he made thousands of drawings. Materials such as fat, felt, copper and wax and themes such as the deer and the hare are recurring elements in Beuys' work. These materials and themes were part of a personal symbolism that was derived from his history.
For Beuys, art and life were inextricably bound together. In his 'broad view of art', anybody could be considered an artist and every action a work of art. This definition of art lay at the foundation of each of Beuys' actions, installations, drawings, sculptures, discussions and political statements. His ultimate aim was the 'soziale Plastik': society as a work of art.

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