Joseph Beuys

Beuys Family Personal Archive of 421 Posters (1964-1986)

About this artwork

This collection documents some of Beuys's most important works – from exhibitions of drawings and sculpture, to performances of his 'actions', many of the posters are signed by the artist, and some feature his circular ink stamp reading 'Hauptstrom' (Mainstream). The distinctive figure of Beuys is seen on many, while others show iconic images of his sculpture. Relating to exhibitions and events from all over the world, they chart an active and varied career. Of the 421 posters, 288 were published during the artist's lifetime, while the rest were published after his death.

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  • title: Beuys Family Personal Archive of 421 Posters
  • accession number: N070815SE.118
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1964-1986
  • measurements: 20.90 x 25.40 cm
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys

German artist Beuys believed that art was integral to everyday life. His own art was shaped by an experience early in his life. As a Luftwaffe pilot during the war, Beuys was shot down over the Crimea and was saved by nomadic Tartars. Barely alive, he was wrapped in felt and fat which preserved his body heat, and taken to safety on sledges pulled by dogs. This incident, and these particular elements, informed much of his art, which has a redemptive, mystical and ritualistic character. Central to his work were his 'Actions', which involved teaching, audience discussion and performance. The recurrent themes were social and political. Associated with the ecological movement - he was a founder member of the Green Party - he also had a strong influence on German politics.