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"Joseph Beuys: Editions"
1999-07-03 until 1999-09-12
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
UK United Kingdom
This is the first comprehensive exhibition in Britain to show the editions
– or multiples as they are sometimes called – of Joseph Beuys. Joseph
Beuys: Editions comprises the prints, objects, photographs, books and
postcards – numbering 562 – that Beuys made between 1965 and his
death in 1986.
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was one of the key artists in the post-war period.
His revolutionary concept of ‘social sculpture’, that art could an should be
part (a liberating part) of life itself rather than a separate activity,
changed not only the way artists make work but the way we look at it.
Beuys’s editions were a crucial part of his work because many of them
were made in large numbers so that they could have as wide a
distribution as possible. Since Beuys wanted his art to change the way
people thought, to make them active participants in the artwork, the more
people who owned examples of his work the better. Some of Beuys’s most
memorable and effective works of art are in the exhibitions: Sled (1969),
Felt Suit (1970), Friday Object (1970) and Back Support for a
Fine-Limbed Person of the 20th Century AD (1972). They all attest to his
desire to elevate the most humble of materials and inculcate them with
Drawn from one of the most important collections of Beuys’s editions in
the world, the Schlegel Collection in Berlin, Editions has been organised
jointly with the Nationalgalerie in Berlin where it was shown at the
Hamburger Bahnhof. This marks the first time that the owner has
exhibited his collection in public.