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Joseph Beuys: Drawings

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Joseph Beuys’ extensive work is grounded in concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy; it culminates in his “extended definition of art” and the idea of social sculpture as a gesamtkunstwerk, for which he claimed a creative, participatory role in shaping society and politics. His career was characterized by open public debates on a very wide range of subjects including political, environmental, social and long term cultural trends. For Beuys, an artwork encompassed so much more than a finished piece: its genesis and generation were essential parts of its nature, hence why he saw his actions as artworks in their own right. Likewise, speaking = sculpture. Beuys believed ‘even when I write my name, I am drawing.’ In his regular uniform of fedora hat, felt suit and fishing vest, he was one of the most recognisable artists of the 20th century, not only because of his provocative works, but also for expanding the concept of art.

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