Joseph Beuys (Krefeld, 1921- Düsseldorf, 1986).
He is one of the major, influential figures in postwar German and European Art. As an artist, teacher, curator, and activist Beuys holds a central position in the acceptance and appreciation of performance and conceptual art. His theories on the social utility of art influenced a generation of artists. Beuys’ work took the form of sculptural objects, drawings, installations, performance “actions” and lectures. In 1963 he began to make performances and concerts as part of Fluxus.
After taking military service in the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, Beuys served as Professor in KunstAkademie in Düsseldorf from 1961 until 1972, forming a generation of prominent artists. Beuys’ several international solo shows include a major retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London. His work was featured in two important Documenta editions (III-VII), in Kassel, Germany, and at the 1976 and 1978 Venice Biennales. His works are included in many prominent public collections, such as Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, Harvard University, and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, Museum for Contemporary Art Basel. All the major art museums in Germany have many of his works including The Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin, The Hessiches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany, the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach.