Joseph Beuys. Parallelprozesse

Sep 11, 2010 — Jan 16, 2011 (Quadrinnale Düsseldorf)

  • Installation view of the exhibition at K20, photo: Achim Kukulies

Joseph Beuys was one of the most internationally innovative and influential artists of the 20th century. As the initiator of momentous new artistic forms of expression, he had a lasting and immediate effect on countless artists. JOSEPH BEUYS.

Parallel Processes will be taking place almost 20 years after Armin Zweite’s widely acclaimed show Joseph Beuys – Natur, Materie, Form (Nature, Matter, Form). The new exhibition curated by Marion Ackermann and Isabelle Malz, is intended as an examination of the “parallel processes” in Joseph Beuys’s seemingly heterogeneous life’s work. The different facets are to be brought into relation with one another and described with regard to their interdependency. 

A chronological succession often selected major works representing the various phases of Beuys’s productivity will try to elucidate the complex web of structures, not only within his oeuvre, but also between the different kinds of works and media used by the artist. This overview aims to create a dialogue in order to show “all of Beuys” in representative groups. Consequently, the focus is not only on the sculptural qualities of his work but also on the performance potential of his art, his actionist approach, his quasi ritualistic endeavours and his transformative handling of objects and materials.

In a sense, this project emulates Joseph Beuys’s way of thinking in which premonition and realisation, intuition and deduction, and ultimately, feeling and reason necessitate and complement one another. This project has received considerable support from various sources. The exhibition will be taking place in connection with the Quadriennale 2010 which is being both sponsored and organised by the state capital, Düsseldorf. Furthermore, in association with one another, the Kunstammlung and the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena were able to secure a substantial amount of research funding from the Federal Ministry of Research and Education. Since March 2009 a team of young researchers has been involved with the academic preparation of the exhibition.

They have been working in the former rooms of the Galerie Schmela which were purchased by the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. This is the very place where Beuys made art history in the 1970’s and 1980’s. From the middle of November, their preparations will be accompanied by the series of events BEUYS AUSSTELLEN? ("exhibiting Beuys?") which occurred in cooperation with Prof. Wilfried Kühn and the University of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe. The results will be documented not only in an extensive catalogue but also in an ambitious educational programme.