Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was one of the twentieth century’s most important and revolutionary cultural figures, who changed the look and meaning of sculpture forever. A political and social activist and educator, Beuys believed in the healing power and social function of art. He saw creativity as central to all aspects of human existence, declaring that ‘everyone is an artist’.
This exhibition marks an important return to the city by Joseph Beuys, who last displayed his work here in 1983. This ARTIST ROOMS Joseph Beuys exhibition will introduce his ground-breaking sculptures, iconic persona and ‘constellation of ideas’ to a new generation.
This major exhibition brings together sculpture and drawings from the 1950s onwards, drawn from the ARTIST ROOMS collection, as well as the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. These works show the strong scientific basis for Beuys’ art and his pioneering use of materials such as felt, fat, wax and copper. At the heart of the exhibition is the sculpture Scala Napoletana (1985), made only a few months before the artist’s death in 1986.
The ARTIST ROOMS collection of modern and contemporary art is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate on behalf of the public. It was established in 2008 through The d’Offay Donation with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, and the Scottish and British Governments.