Joseph Beuys  (German, 1921-1986) 

Joseph Beuys (German, 1921–1986) was a performance artist and sculptor who worked in post-World War II Germany. Born in western Germany between World War I and World War II, he was a member of the Hitler Youth as a young adult, and joined the German air-force in 1941. His plane was shot down in 1944, a dramatic event that the artist referenced through the incorporation of several motifs in his subsequent artistic production. According to the artist, he was rescued by a Crimean tribe of Tartars, who wrapped him in fat and felt to nurse him back to health.

After the war, Beuys studied sculpture at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art, where he became Professor of Monumental Sculpture in 1960. Starting in 1963, Beuys began to create Aktion, his sensationalist happenings, which drew public attention for their mysterious performances, ritualistic props, and use of live and dead animals. Famous Aktion happenings include How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare and I Like America and America Likes Me, in which he flew to New York to share a room with a coyote for eight hours over three days. Firm in his belief that “everyone is an artist,” Beuys worked on public and political art for the last 20 years of his life. He also was a founding member of Germany’s Green Party and FIU, or the Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research.

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Joseph Beuys, Oil Bottle


Joseph Beuys
Oil Bottle

Track 16 Gallery
Joseph Beuys, Steinhase


Joseph Beuys

Galerie Heinz Holtmann
Joseph Beuys, Wirtschaftswert Mineralwasser


Joseph Beuys
Wirtschaftswert Mineralwasser

Auction: May 3, 2014
Dr. Andreas Sturies
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Joseph Beuys, Demokratie ist lustig


Joseph Beuys
Demokratie ist lustig

Auction: May 3, 2014
Dr. Andreas Sturies
View Details | entire auction
Joseph Beuys, La Rivoluzione siamo Noi


Joseph Beuys
La Rivoluzione siamo Noi

Auction: May 3, 2014
Dr. Andreas Sturies
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Joseph Beuys, Ohne Titel (Giornale Partitura)


Joseph Beuys
Ohne Titel (Giornale Partitura)

Auction: May 3, 2014
Dr. Andreas Sturies
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Joseph Beuys, Suite Tränen (Tears Suite): Five plates (5 works)


Joseph Beuys
Suite Tränen (Tears Suite): Five plates (5 works)

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Phillips New York
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Joseph Beuys, Zirkulationszeit (Circulation Time): Six plates; and Schwurhand (Oath Hand): One plate (7 works)


Joseph Beuys
Zirkulationszeit (Circulation Time): Six plates; and Schwurhand (Oath Hand): One plate (7 works)

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Phillips New York
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Joseph Beuys, Capri Battery


Joseph Beuys
Capri Battery

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Phillips New York
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Past auction results (6559)  View All
Joseph Beuys, Ohne die Rose Tun Wir's Nicht


Joseph Beuys
Ohne die Rose Tun Wir's Nicht, 1972
color offset lithograph on paper laid on cardboard


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Joseph Beuys, Auguren


Joseph Beuys
Auguren, 1982
color offset lithograph


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Joseph Beuys, Joseph Beuys - Multiplizierte Kunst 1965-1980


Joseph Beuys
Joseph Beuys - Multiplizierte Kunst 1965-1980, 1980
offset print on paper laid on cardboard, poster


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1921   Born: in Krefeld, Germany
1940   Diploma High School Kleve, Germany
1941 - 1945   War service as a gun pilot
1947 - 1951   Studied sculpture at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art under Joseph Enseling and Ewald Mataré, Düsseldorf, Germany
1961   Appointed professor at State Art Academy Düsseldorf, Sculpting Division, Düsseldorf, Germany
Began to associate with Fluxus artists
1978   Became a member of the Academy of Arts, Berlin, Germany
1980   Became a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm, Denmark
1986   Received the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize, Duisburg, Germany
Died: in Düsseldorf, Germany
2013   Goethe, Bond and Beuys - The Furka, 1779 – 1991 - Bro­mer Art Collec­tion (BAC), Rogg­wil-Kal­ten­her­berg, Switzerland
Kunst mit der Kamera - Analoge Fotografie 1963 - 1996 - Brigitte March International Contemporary Art, Stuttgart, Germany
This is Not a Love Song - La Virreina - Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona, Spain
Neunzehnhundertsiebzig. Material, Orte, Denkprozesse, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland
NeuenGalerie - neu gesehen: Sammlung + documenta-Erwerbungen - Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany
Art is Liturgy, Kolumba, Cologne, Germany
Die Bildhauer. Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, 1945 bis heute - K20 Grabbeplatz, Dusseldorf, Germany
Video Vintage 1963-1983 - Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Contra Tàpies - Fundación Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, Spain
Ensemblematic - SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium
Schauplatz Stadt - Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Installationen von der Klassischen Moderne bis zur Gegenwart, Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr, Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany
Social Plastics, Beuys in China, CAFA Art Museum, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China
DAS GESCHENK. Geben - Sich Hingeben, Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
2012   Herinnering, energie, transformatie, De Hallen, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Iphigenie, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
Hirschdenkmäler, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
Joseph Beuys, Goethe-Institut Paris, France
Joseph Beuys: Appeal for an Alternative. Moscow museum of modern art - MMOMA, Moscow, Russia
Mein Rasierspiegel, Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Germany
Joseph Beuys. Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, Canada
Mein Rasierspiegel. Von Holthuys bis Beuys, Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Germany
Joseph Beuys. Portland Art Museum, Portland, USA
2011   Joseph Beuys, Galerie Thomas Modern, Munich, Germany
Multiples, Graphiken, Arbeiten auf Papier, Städtische Galerie sohle 1, Bergkamen, Germany
Beuys E Bem AlÉm, Ensinar Como Arte, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil
Joseph Beuys. Difesa della Natura, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
2010   Joseph Beuys, Gagosian Gallery Madison, New York, USA (solo)
2009   Joseph Beuys, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK (solo)
2008   Focus: Joseph Beuys, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (solo)
ARC/Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
2007   Art International Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, USA
Ludwig Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Hungary
2006   Musée municipal d'art de la Roche sur Yon, La Roche-sur-Yon, France
2005   Joseph Beuys, Tate Modern, London, UK (solo)
2004   Ludwig Forum fur Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA
1998   Joseph Beuys: Kleine Zeichnungen, Kunsthaus, Kaufbeuren, Germany (solo)
1997   Joseph Beuys: Kleine Zeichnungen, Mykolas-Zilinskas-Kunstgalerie, Kaunas, Litauen; Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea (solo)
1996   Joseph Beuys: Kleine Zeichnungen, Van Reekum Museum, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands; Bündner Kunstmuseum, Chur, Switzerland; Kunsthalle, Rostock, Germany (solo)
1995   Joseph Beuys: Kleine Zeichnungen, Kultur- und Kongresszentrum La Poste, Visip, Switzerland (solo)
1994   Hauptstrom Jupiter. Beuys und die Antike. Zeichnungen 1946 – 1960, Gerhard Marcks-Haus, Bremen, Germany (solo)
1993   Joseph Beuys: Eine Innere Mongolei. Dschingis Khan, Schamanen, Aktricen, Bleistiftzeichnungen, Aquarell und Ölfarben aus der Sammlung van der Grinten, Galerie Jahrhunderthalle Hoechst, Frankfurt, Germany (solo)
1992   Joseph Beuys: Denken ist bereits Plastik. Zeichnungen zur Plastischen Theorie aus der Sammlung van der Grinten, Grafische Sammlung der Eidgenössischen T.H., Zürich, Switzerland (solo)
1991   Joseph Beuys: Manresa. Zeichnungen, Fotos, Materialien zu einer Fluxus-Demonstration. 25 Jahre Manresa. 500 Jahre Ignatius, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne, Germany (solo)
1989   Galerie Holtmann, Cologne, Germany
1988   Joseph Beuys – Frühe Arbeiten aus der Sammlung van der Grinten, Akademie Galerie der Akademie der Künste der DDR, Berlin, Germany (solo)
1987   Brennpunkt Düsseldorf: Joseph Beuys, Die Akademie. Der Allgemeine Aufbruch 1962 – 1987, Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, Germany (solo)
1986   Beuys zu Ehren, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany (solo)
Galerie Holtmann, Cologne, Germany
1985   Joseph Beuys: Braunkreuz, Nijmeegs Museum, Nijmegen, The Netherlands (solo)
1984   Joseph Beuys: An Exhibition Based on the Ulbricht Collection, The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1983   Joseph Beuys: Drawings, City Art Gallery, Leeds, UK (solo)
Hommage à Joseph Beuys, Galerie Holtmann, Cologne, Germany (solo)
1981   Joseph Beuys: Arbeiten aus Münchner Sammlungen, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany (solo)
1980   Opening Exhibition, Galerie Holtmann, Cologne, Germany
Joseph Beuys: Zeichnungen, Tekeningen, Drawings, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1979   Joseph Beuys, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (solo)
1977   Joseph Beuys: Tekeningen, Aquarellen, Gouaches, Collages, Olieverven, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Gent, Belgium (solo)
1975 - 1976   Joseph Beuys, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1974   Joseph Beuys: The Secret Block for a Secret Person in Ireland, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK (solo)
1973   Joseph Beuys: Zeichnungen aus der Sammlung Karl Ströher, Kunsthalle, Tübingen, Germany (solo)
1972   Joseph Beuys: Zeichnungen und andere Blätter aus Sammlung Karl Ströher, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany (solo)
1971   Joseph Beuys: Objekte und Zeichnungen aus der Sammlung van der Grinten, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, Germany (solo)
La Rivoluzione siamo noi: Partitura di Joseph Beuys, Modern Art Agency, Naples, Italy (solo)
1970   Joseph Beuys, Kunstverein, Ulm, Germany (solo)
1969   Joseph Beuys: Zeichnungen, Kleine Objekte, Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland (solo)
1967   Joseph Beuys: Parallelprozess I, Municipal Museum, Mönchengladbach, Germany (solo)
1966   Joseph Beuys: Zeichnungen, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Joseph Beuys: Mit Braunkreuz, Galerie René Block, Berlin, Germany (solo)
1965   Joseph Beuys: Irgendein Strang..., Galerie Schmela, Dusseldorf, Germany (solo)
1964   Documenta, Kassel, Germany
  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Dia Art Foundation, New York, NY
Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
National Museum, Kassel, Germany
1991    Stachelhaus, Heiner. Joseph Beuys. New York, NY: Abbeville Press, 1991
1979    Adriani, Götz, Winfried Konnertz, and Karin Thomas. Joseph Beuys: Life and Works. New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1979