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White Gray Black

Joseph Beuys (German, 1921–1986)

Introduction

Source: Oxford University Press

German sculptor, performance artist, printmaker and teacher. He opposed the concept of art as based on such autonomous genres as panel painting and sculpture. Instead he pursued in his performance art (‘Aktionen’) and sculpture an ‘expanded concept of art’, aimed at a total permeation of life by creative acts. By his provocative and often misunderstood statement that ‘each person is an artist’, he did not mean that everyone is a painter or a sculptor. Rather, he wanted to express the idea that any person could become creatively active. This concept culminated logically in his idea of ‘social sculpture’, an art that drew upon the creative power possessed by every individual.

© 2009 Oxford University Press

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