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Joseph Beuys

Gender: Male
Country: Germany
A German sculptor, performer, art theoretician, educator, and sociopolitical activist (1921-1986). He became famous as co-creator of the international artistic movement FLUXUS. Initially, inspired by Dadaism and the works of artists like Kurt SCHWITTERS and Marcel DUCHAMP he made wood, metal and wax sculptures, e.g. Crucifixion (1963) or Snowfall (1956). Later, he turned towards performance art, complex installations made of numerous objects as well as unusual materials (e.g. felt, bread or honey) and inscrip- tions or even his own body and dead animals: How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (1965); Eurasia (1966); Coyote. In 1977 he established the FREE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY FOR CREATIVITY AND INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH in Du?sseldorf, which was his platform for popularising innova- tive ideas concerning art in relationship to socio-political revolutionism. Some of the industrial culture’s fundamental artistic principles, esp. the VEHICLE ART theory, were adapted from BEUYS. They posited superiority of the act of creation over the work of art itself. Moreover, his idea of iden- tifying life with art and perceiving the creative potential in any individual, which allows everyone to become a valuable artist, was embraced by many in the industrial culture.