Joseph Beuys

Born on May 12, 1921 in Krefield, Germany, Beuys fought in World War II and was injured in a plane crash in 1943, an experience that would feature heavily in his future artistic practice. He enrolled in the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1947, and after being appointed professor of monumental sculpture at the school in 1961, he joined the Fluxus group along with Nam June Paik and George Maciunas, only to leave the movement four years later. He performed in his first documenta exhibition in the early 1960s, and was dismissed from his teaching appointment in 1972 after accepting students who were previously rejected from the Akademie. Beuys died January 23, 1986 in Düsseldorf, Germany at the age of 64. Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Hamburger Banhof in Berlin, and the Kunstmuseum Basel, among others.


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