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An Interview with Joseph Beuys

JOSEPH BEUYS STANDS ALMOST ALONE in post-war German art as a sculptor of major importance. Born in Kleve in 1921, he first became known in the late 1950s as the leading advocate of Fluxus “action art”—performance pieces whose American counterpart is the early Happenings of Kaprow, Oldenburg, Paik and Whitman. In 1961, Beuys moved from Kleve to Düsseldorf where he became Professor of Sculpture at the Art Academy. Notorious for not wanting to exhibit his work, until recently the only place to see his sculpture (besides the semi-private Beuys museum in Kranenburg directed by Hans and Franz Josef van der Grinten) was at the Alfred Schmela Gallery, Düsseldorf, where he has had occasional one-man exhibitions. His work gained greater notice when the noted German collector, Karl Ströher, bought (and then exhibited) the three-hundred-work Beuys retrospective organized by Jan Leering at the Van Abbe

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