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Biographies

Joseph Beuys

Una vita di controimmagini

  • Author: Heiner Stachelhaus
  • Year: 2012
  • Language: Italian
  • Pages: 204
  • Price: 22.00 €
  • ISBN: 978-88-6010-033-7
  • Size: cm 15.5 x 23
  • Illustrations: 24 b/w

A fisherman’s vest over a white shirt, jeans and a felt hat. In the winter a long lynx fur lined with blue silk. In his youth a black tie with a hare’s jaw tiepin. This was how Joseph Beuys presented himself, an unmistakable look midway between clown and gangster. On making his appearance, he always did the opposite of what was expected, delighting in actions that initially seemed senseless: wrapping himself in felt, living with a coyote, scraping gelatin from a wall, holding the same position for hours, sweeping a forest, explaining paintings to a dead hare, bandaging a knife after cutting his finger. All this – and the fat that heals, the felt that warms, the honey that feeds and the batteries that recharge – in order to transmit energy and give the spectators a salutary shock, to broaden their awareness. Creativity is a “shaping” of freedom and the heritage of all. He urged us repeatedly to be constantly alert and make our own revolution: “Everyone is an artist.”

Avoiding, with rare exceptions, the stereotyped judgements and interpretations put forward on one of the most controversial and repeatedly analyzed figures of the 20th century, Heiner Stachelhaus presents a portrait of Joseph Beuys in the round starting from the “anti-images” of his life: the study of natural sciences, involvement with Steiner’s anthroposophy, the aeroplane crash in the Crimea and the experience with Tartars, teaching and the occupation of the Düsseldorf Academy, the 7000 Oaks and the environmentalist battles, the Beuys of private life who drank tap water in glasses of ground crystal, and the Beuys Block in Darmstadt, the museum-workshop still haunted by the spirit of man described by Karl Ströher as the only artist capable of expressing the specificity of our era.

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Otto-Heinrich Stachelhaus (1930–2002), known as Heiner Stachelhaus, was a journalist and art critic. He worked at the Neuen Ruhr-Zeitung/Neuen Rhein-Zeitung (NRZ) and was vice-president of the International Association of Art Critics from 1980 to 1989. As he stated in 1987 when this biography was published, “Without wishing to deny the importance of criticism, I believe that if I had not been concerned with Beuys for over twenty years I could never have written this book.”

Prefazione di Michele Bonuomo

Introduzione alla prima edizione

Introduzione alla nuova edizione

1. Le origini

2. La guerra

3. L’Accademia ed Ewald Mataré

4. L’inquietudine e Rudolf Steiner

5. I fratelli van der Grinten

6. La depressione

7. Gli animali

8. La teoria: il concetto ampliato di arte, la scultura sociale, grasso e feltro

9. L’insegnamento

10. Il licenziamento

11. Il politico: la Libera Università Internazionale

12. Le azioni

13. Le installazioni

14. In Italia e in America

15. Il Beuys privato

16. La fine

Appendice. Il Beuys-Block di Darmstadt