SEEING ART: JOSEPH BEUYS
with a greeting by Walter Smerling.
In the year of his 100th birthday, Joseph Beuys is He was, after all, thinking ahead and demanding what we need more than ever: the creativity of each individual person, flexible thinking and plastic imagination, as well as the creative process in cooperation – all that which he grasped with the extended concept of art, expressed with the idea of social sculpture and never tired of explaining.
However, art historian Michael Bockemühl is not concerned with concepts in his reflections on Beuys, but with expanding one’s own perceptual possibilities through and with art. Alongside the legendary actions of the provocateur Beuys, it is above all the small, quiet, incidental works that come into focus: drawings, assemblages, panel paintings in which unexpected gestures, thoughts, materials interfere. Thus it becomes clear that the process of forming does not begin with the idea and end with the shaping of a work, but that both sides always interact: Thought and language are formative and material, just as sculpture and installation are always mental and spiritual at the same time – it is their interplay and interrelationship that expands our perceptual possibilities and impulses our action. The fact that creative design is possible at any moment and can always unfold new subversive power is shown by the lively encounter between Bockemühl and Beuys, which this volume impressively unfolds.