This book examines the crucial period between Joseph Beuys’ return to his hometown of Kleve after World War II at the age of 24 and his appointment as a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1961. During this “incubation” phase, key themes relevant to his future work emerged, which now structure this book: biography as material for artistic forming; Beuys and poetry/romanticism; natural sciences: physics, chemistry, botany, zoology and geography; philosophy/anthropology Steiner; evolution; economics, capitalism, labor, politics. The aim of this book, along with the 2021 exhibition of the same name at Museum Kurhaus Kleve for which it is the catalogue, is neither to venerate a local saint of Kleve nor to topple an artist from an earlier generation. Instead it highlights the influences, ideas and caesuras that saw Beuys develop from a “sensitive traditionalist” into a “visionary social sculptor.”

Exhibition: Museum Kurhaus Kleve, 19 June to 3 October 2021


Edited by Harald Kunde

200 pages, 180 images

Hardback / Clothbound
20 x 29 cm

English / German

ISBN 978-3-95829-900-9
Publication date 10/2021

€ 38.00 incl. VAT
Free shipping

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