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Joseph Beuys: Everyone's an Artist

  • Date Submitted: 02/15/2011 09:34 AM
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Joseph Beuys: Everybody is an artist.

Extended essay by

4th Year

Joseph Beuys: Everybody is an artist. 1

Introduction 3

Everybody is an artist 4

Everybody is an artist. But on second thoughts… 6

Widening the Concept of Art 8

Critiques of Beuys 10

FREE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY 14

Conclusion. 15

Introduction

With this work I want to assess and analyse the Life Course/Work Course of Joseph Beuys. I am personally fascinated by what one critic describes as being the ‘Beuys Phenomena’, so with the following work I propose to explore the different explanations (either from the artist or otherwise) that accompany his numerous drawings, sculptures and actions. Whatever is said about Beuys’, his impact on the art world is of unquestionably importance. Through exploring the current speculations and opinions which have been recorded I hope to be able to form my own arguments and opinions about the working methods of Beuys.

A major focus of Beuys attention was directed towards protecting and maintaining the natural environment with works such as 7000 Oaks (see illustration). This major project consisted of planting 7000 oak trees. Each oak was planted alongside a stone stele - the juxtaposition of a stone object next to a living, supportive organism added significance to the importance of nature and humanity working together. Beuys declared that humanity and nature working together would create a new world. The success that Beuys achieved became a platform for him; thus aiding the creation of this ‘new world’. One quote describes how Beuys was purposefully using the art system to gain influence: “I use the system, the system
uses me.” 1. It is of great interest to me to assess how Beuys navigated the system in order the achieve his success.

Within his career Beuys culled an extraordinary amount of followers and believers. But after confronting the artists works, many people can’t help but wonder: Why? Some critics think the following...

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