Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys (b. 1921-d. 1986) is a German artist.

In 1943, three years after enlisting in the Luftwaffe, his plane crashed in Crimea. This event founded his personal mythology: Beuys claimed that nomadic Tatars rescued him. During one week, they fed him with honey, treated his wounds with animal fat and wrapped his body in a felt cover. Those three elements that saved his life will later be recurrent in his work: Fat Chair (1964), I Like America and America Likes Me (1974) etc.

Joseph Beuys’ career spans over thirty years after the war. His artistic work compounds a metaphorical and therapeutic significance. It is mainly composed of sculptures, installations and actions. From the 1970’s, Beuys elaborated the controversial “expanded concept of art” with the “social sculpture”: in his opinion, every man could be an artist since creation is a universal ability.