Sunday, January 24, 2010

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, 1965. With honey and gold leaf on his face, Beuys sits in a gallery with a taxidermied hare, explaining to it the artwork hanging on the walls.

I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974. Beuys' only trip to America, in which he never touches American soil and spends eight days and three hours in Rene Block Gallery in New York with a wild coyote.

Joseph Beuys was a prominent German artist of his time period, who is widely known for his "actions" and "social sculpture." In his performance art, he would often incorporate felt and fat into his work, materials personally significant to him after they were used to heal him after a plane crash in WWII. Social sculpture was Beuys' belief that society itself was a form of art, and anyone in it was capable of being an artist.

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