Joseph Beuys

Martin-Gropius-Bau; Akademie der Künste der DDR; Akademie der Künste; Galerie Silvia Menzel; Galerie Nikolaus Sonne

Two years after Joseph Beuys’ death, some of the questions concerning the presentation of his work are commercial ones: how will the unsold works be marketed; how will curators, dealers, and collectors handle Beuys’ false datings? With the mounting of several exhibitions on both sides of the Berlin wall, it has become obvious that other questions are tied to deeper concerns about the power of Beuys’ artmaking activity to sustain its meaning now that the artist who so carefully guided its presentation is gone. For Beuys saw his “works”—his drawings, sculptures, and installations—as manifestations of his theories, his doctrines, and his attempts to establish institutions that expressed the connection between art and politics. As long as Beuys was writing, teaching, lecturing, and supervising his exhibitions, his works served as symbols of his utopian strivings for a more humane future. Will

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1988 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.