Hommage à Beuys

Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus

The blow dealt by Joseph Beuys’ death, on January 23, 1986, swelled the number of artists initially participating in “Hommage à Beuys” (originally planned for Beuys’ birthday, in May) to include 70 European and American artists. But few of these artists—in response to a request by Bernd Klüser, Beuys’ Munich dealer, and one of the show’s coorganizers—actually sent works especially created to honor their great colleague, who, according to Hermann Nitsch in his artist’s statement, “gave art the widest responsibility and thus ushered in a new understanding of art” The majority of these often representative works were created before Beuys’ death, and, if they referred to Beuys or his work at all, were content with references of varying degrees of explicitness.

Despite Beuys’ approval of the “Hommage,” to which he himself had planned to contribute a central work, questions are raised by this

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