Joseph Beuys

An Artist's Enduring Legacy

Joseph Beuys during a performance art piece in Rome.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Thirty years after his death, Joseph Beuys’ work continues to inspire young artists and shape the museum landscape in Berlin.

  • Facts


    • Joseph Beuys is considered to be one of Germany’s most important postwar artists.
    • His installation “Das Kapital” will be the centerpiece of Berlin’s planned Museum der Moderne.
    • With his works valued at almost half a million euros, it has become largely unaffordable for German museums, who must now count on private donations.
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Joseph Beuys is considered by many experts to be Germany’s most influential postwar artist. But 30 years after his death in 1986, what remains of his charismatic presence in the art world?

Some might argue that the echoes of his work are fading, though Rita McBride begs to differ. The director of Düsseldorf’s famous Arts Academy, where Beuys was both a student a professor, is convinced that the artist’s presence resurfaces constantly. Many of Mr. Beuys’ former students, for example, have now returned to teach at the Academy.

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