One hundred years after his birth, The Belvedere will be hosting an exhibition dedicated to the life and career of Joseph Beuys.
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) not only developed new ways of thinking about the world, but also established new meanings to art altogether. Through his paintings, sculptures, speeches and performances, Beuys opened up debate on a wide range of political issues throughout his life.
Beuys’ works were often three-dimensional and were used as a way to comment on human society. His ‘Honey Pump at the Workplace’, for example, consisted of a series of tubes running from a staircase to two adjacent rooms, through which two tons of liquid honey was pumped by a motor. For Beuys, the transportation of honey and the organisation of bees represented the system of human industrial production. Beuys himself was often involved in his own artistic performances and as part of his ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’, he shared a room with a coyote for eight hours over a period of three days. However, Beuys was more than just an artist and a performer. During his career he was also a visiting professor at various institutions such as the Dusseldorf Academy of Arts and encouraged his students to discuss political and philosophical issues as well as the role of art in society.
To celebrate the centenary of Beuys’ birth, The Belvedere will be dedicating an exhibition to his life and works between March and June 2021. His interests in notions of freedom, how communities define themselves and the use of planetary resources continue to be just as relevant now as they were during his lifetime.