Joseph Beuys - Portrait of the artist by Robert Lebeck, 1978 - Image via tmlarts

Joseph Beuys

Germany 1921 - 1986

Installation, Sculpture, Performance Art

Joseph Beuys
Joseph Beuys
Male
Germany
1921
November 3, 2016
Andreja Velimirović is a passionate content writer with a knack for art and old movies. Majoring in art history, he is an expert on avant-garde modern movements and medieval church fresco decorations. Feel free to contact him via his Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreja-velimirovi%C4%87-74068a68/

The biggest figure of the post-World War II avant-garde scene in Germany, Joseph Beuys viewed art as an exceptional mean for invoking positive social changes. His performance art pieces were mystical experiences often described as shamanistic in nature because of Beuys’ tendency to incorporate ritualized gestures and sounds. Additionally, Joseph Beuys also included some very repulsive materials within his works, such as human fat, blood and even dead animals. He was often branded as rather controversial by the public as many were not able to cope with the graphic aspects of this artist’s work. Joseph also counted debate and teaching as vital parts of his art and was a leader in many social and economic reforms in his time. Akin to Andy Warhol in influence but with a more wildly ranging vocabulary, Beuys is possibly the most vital performance artist to have ever lived.

German artists felt the Fluxus terms were illogical and felt that their works were irrational
Joseph Beuys – The Pack, 1969 – Image via flickriver.com

Early Life in the Third Reich

Joseph Beuys was born in Krefeld, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He was a son of a merchant Josef Jakob Beuys who moved his family from Geldern to Krefeld in 1910. After 1921, the year of Beuys’ birth, Josef yet again decided to move. This time, the family set its sails for Kleve, an industrial town in the Lower Rhine region of Germany which is very close to the Dutch border. It was here that Joseph spent his childhood, studying at the Katholische Volksschule primary school and Staatliches Gymnasium Cleve secondary school. During his school days, Beuys showed an exceptional talent for drawing. Additionally, his creativity was further stimulated with regular piano and cello lessons. It’s recorded that young Joseph also visited the studio of the Flemish painter and sculptor Achilles Moortgat on at least few occasions. Beuys enjoyed reading as well, making books his primary choice of entertainment. Interestingly, when the Nazi Party staged one of their notorious book-burning incidents in Kleve on 19 May 1933 in the courtyard of his school, young Joseph saved the book Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus from the flames. After Adolf’s government made the Hitler Youth membership mandatory, Beuys joined thousands of German children and adolescents at the time and became a part of this notorious group when he was fifteen years of age. Joseph was even a part of the controversial Nuremberg rally in September 1936. As he was coming near to the end of his teens, Beuys wanted to be a doctor. However, after he was influenced by pictures of Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s sculptures, Joseph decided to become a sculptor himself.

Only when Beuys felt confident in his ability, his work was truly born
Joseph Beuys – Fat Battery, 1963 – Image via tate.org.uk

World War II and Tatars

When the World War II began, Joseph Beuys began his military training as an aircraft radio operator under the tutelage of the famous Heinz Sielmann. Additionally, the young artist also attended lectures in Biology and Zoology at the University of Posen. From 1942, Beuys was stationed in the Crimea and was a member of various combat bomber units. As the Germany was being brought to its knees and the tide of war was turning, Joseph was deployed as a rear-gunner in the Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber. It is rather logical that all the violence of WWII finally pushed Beuys’ eternal doubtings overboard and enabled him to pursue the career of an artist. Some of his drawings and sketches from this period were salvaged and it’s interesting that they were already displaying Beuys’ characteristic style. As the story goes, the pivotal moment of his career happened on the 16th of March in 1944. After an intense battle in the sky, Beuys’s plane crashed on the Crimean Front. Allegedly, he was rescued from the crash by nomadic Tatar tribesmen who had wrapped his severely injured body in animal fat, nursing Joseph back to health. Concerning this turn of story, the artist spoke on numerous occasions, often stating that he would not be alive had it not been for the Tartars[1]. However, German war records show that Beuys was actually delirious when the Nazi search commando unit found him and that there were no Tatars in the vicinity at that particular time. Nonetheless, such a fascinating tale appealed to the public which accepted it as the true origins of Joseph’s artistic identity. Following the plane incident, Beuys was rotated back into the army and served bravely until the end of the war as a part of a paratrooper unit. After the piece treaty was signed, he returned to his parents who had moved to a suburb of Kleve.

Through his teachings and Aktions, Joseph Beuys frequently blurred the line between art and life

Joseph Beuys - Celtic (Kinloch Rannoch) Felt Scottish Symphony - Image via ecaedacuk
Joseph Beuys – Celtic (Kinloch Rannoch) Scottish Symphony – Image via eca.ed.ac.uk

True Artistic Beginnings

After his return to post-war Kleve, Beuys met the local sculptor Walter Brüx and painter Hanns Lamers. The two new friends introduced joseph to the local scene and enabled his entrance into the Kleve Artists Association. In 1946, the ambitious artist enrolled in the sculpture program at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts. The anthroposophic philosophy which was a big part of this university’s core identity effectively became a key aspect of Joseph’s own art as well. He explained such a decision with the following statement: an approach that refers to reality in a direct and practical way, and that by comparison, all forms of epistemological discourse remain without direct relevance to current trends and movements. In 1947, Beuys was a founder member of the group Donnerstag-Gesellschaf (Thursday Group). He was in charge of organizing group’s discussions, exhibitions and concerts[2]. As a hobby, Joseph also assisted with a number of wildlife documentaries made in the late 1950s. Beuys graduated from the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts in the year of 1953. He was thirty-two years of age at the time. After that, Joseph had a modest income from a number of crafts-oriented commissions as he proved himself to be a rather talented maker of furniture and gravestones. However, Beuys’ main goal was making art. He mostly created drawings and sculptures through which he was able to examine a range of unconventional materials and improve his artistic program by investigating metaphorical and symbolic connections between natural wonders and philosophical systems. Joseph basically desired to explore the material world through the sphere of myth and philosophy. Unfortunately, such individualistic concepts led Beuys to regular physical and psychological crises, eventually exploding in a form of a severe depression in 1956. On the brighter side, Joseph’s ideas were considered to be critical concepts of the Fluxus movement and it’s anti-art propaganda.

Joseph Beuys was a key participant in the 1960s Fluxus movement and one of the finest artists to rely on ephemeral, time-based and impermanent installations

Beuys set the political and social terms of the early German Fluxus works
Joseph Beuys – Sled, 1969 – Image via msu.edu

Beuys’ Celebrated Peak and Shamanism

In 1961, Beuys was appointed as a professor of monumental sculpture at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. This enabled him to do what he loved the most – holding lectures, philosophizing and teaching others. Joseph’s first genuine performance piece, or Aktion as he preferred to call them[3], was held at the Technical College of Aachen in 1964. The artist performed an act which he titled Lebenslauf/Werklauf (Life Course/Work Course) but was not able to finish it as Beuys was attacked by the students during the show. This controversy was further emphasized as Joseph was fired from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf for tutoring sixteen individuals which were saw as not fit for the school’s program. Nonetheless, Beuys continued an intense schedule of public lectures and discussions, as well as becoming increasingly active in German politics as his reputation was starting to grow in the eye of the public. Finding so much pleasure in teaching, Joseph Beuys said that teaching is the greatest work of art and that the rest is the waste product, a mere demonstration. He desired to channel teachings through his artworks, to somehow make his pieces extremely socially and politically aware. He wanted to give his art a role, he felt it needed a duty. In order to achieve such challenging goals, Beuys turned to shamanism. Although such a decision was not a novelty in art history (Picasso and Gauguin come to mind in an instant), Joseph was unusual as he felt that it was necessary to integrate the shaman role into both his art and private life.

Joseph’s most praised performance pieces such as How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare and I Like America and America Likes Me were heavily based on such concepts. In his own words, Beuys saw and used his performative art as shamanistic and psychoanalytic techniques to both educate and heal the general public. When observed from that perspective, Joseph’s art was educative as well as therapeutic[4]. Although his performances were the highlight of his career, Beuys organized less and less such acts as he was growing older. This may be explained as a necessity of aging and losing energy, but such a lower number of performances was required in order for Joseph to hold as many lectures as he felt was humanly possible – something he did until the end of his life. Joseph Beuys died of heart failure on 23 January 1986, in Düsseldorf, after a long period of illness that plagued him for years.

Beuys demonstrated how art might originate in personal experience yet also address universal artistic, political and social ideas

Joseph Beuys - I Like America and Felt That America Likes Me, 1974 - Image via pinterestcom
Joseph Beuys – I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974 – Image via pinterest.com

The Eternal Work of Joseph Beuys

Between his intellectual lectures and controversial performance pieces, Joseph Beuys effectively reserved his spot in the elite of art history. Ultimately, his life’s mission was to make creativity more democratic and socially aware, all in order to collapse the space between life and art – we are proud to say that Beuys managed to achieve his objective with flying colors, to say the least. One can make a rather bold and justified statement that both Conceptual and Performance art would not be the same today[5] if this German artist was not active for some unfortunate reason. Luckily, Joseph Beuys left his imprint on both mediums, dictated the courses they took and shaped them in what they fundamentally still are today.

This artist is represented by Galerie Thalberg Zurich, Gagosian Park & 75 New York, Gagosian West 24th Street New York, Gagosian Beverly Hills, Gagosian Britannia Street London, Kunzt.gallery, Gagosian West 21st Street New York

References:

  1. Michely, V., Mesch, C., Joseph Beuys: The Reader, The MIT Press, 2007
  2. Borer, A., The Essential Joseph Beuys, Thames & Hudson, 2016
  3. Beuys, J., Joseph Beuys: A Colorful World, Schirmer/Mosel Verlag GmbH, 2011
  4. Ackermann, M., Muller, M., Boehm, G., Joseph Beuys: Parallel Processes, Schirmer/Mosel, 2010
  5. Beuys, J., Harlan, V., What Is Art?: Conversations with Joseph Beuys, Clairview Books, 2004

Featured image: Joseph Beuys – Portrait of the artist by Robert Lebeck, 1978 – Image via tmlarts.com
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Joseph BeuysNational Gallery of Canada - Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, ONSolo
2017Art VischeringMünsterlandmuseum Burg Vischering, LüdinghausenGroup
2017Was das Bild zur Kunst macht. Die SammlungKunsthalle zu Kiel, KielGroup
2017Viaje alrededor del mundoInstituto Cultural Cabañas, GuadalajaraGroup
2016Du possible- Festival de L'incertitudeCentre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, ParisGroup
2016Historicode: Scarcity and SupplyNanjing International Art Festival, Nanjing, JiangsuGroup
2016Joseph Beuys - WerklinienMuseum Kurhaus Kleve, KleveSolo
2016Joseph Beuys und ItalienKunsthalle Vogelmann, HeilbronnSolo
2016Joseph Beuys - Nam June PaikGalerie Thomas Modern, MunichSolo
2015Joseph BeuysMitchell-Innes & Nash - West Street, New York City, NYSolo
2014Zeichnungen/DrawingsKunstsammlungen Chemnitz, ChemnitzSolo
2014Joseph Beuys: Obras 1955-1985Fundación PROA, Buenos AiresSolo
2014Louisiana On Paper - Joseph BeuysLouisiana Museum of Modern Art, HumlebækSolo
2014Undertones - MarresCentre for Contemporary Culture, MaastrichtGroup
2014Re: CollectKunstpalais Erlangen, ErlangenGroup
2014ImaginariumLarm Galleri, CopenhagenGroup
2014Body & Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary ArtHenry Moore Institute, LeedsGroup
2014Object matterGalleri Susanne Ottesen, CopenhagenGroup
2014The Paths of German Art from 1949 to the presentMoscow museum of modern art - MMOMA, MoscowGroup
2014ArenaCenter of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu - CoCA, TorunGroup
2014Art and Alchemy - The Mystery of TransformationMuseum Kunstpalast, DusseldorfGroup
2014Happier than the morning sun Sies + Höke, Dusseldorf Group
2014Feel The Spirit!EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art, EspooGroup
2014L'expérience FurkartCentre culturel Suisse, ParisGroup
2014Experience 09: SilenceESMoA, El Segundo, CAGroup
2014Siehe was dich siehtFranz Graf (group show) - 21er Haus, ViennaGroup
2013Social Plastics - Beuys in ChinaCAFA Art Museum - China Central Academy of Fine Arts, BeijingSolo
2013Anni '70. Arte a RomaPalazzo delle Esposizioni, RomeGroup
2013The Circle Walked CasuallyDeutsche Bank KunstHalle, BerlinGroup
2013Exposition InauguraleGalerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal, QCGroup
2013Affordable Bananas or WhateverNosbaum&Reding, LuxembourgGroup
2013In Principio I - 10 Meditationen Über Den AnfangKunsthalle Rostock, RostockGroup
2013Goethe, Bond and Beuys - The Furka, 1779 – 1991Bro­mer Art Collec­tion (BAC), Rogg­wil-Kal­ten­her­bergGroup
2013Serial Attitudes - Repetition as an artistic method since the 1960sHamburger Kunsthalle, HamburgGroup
2013Weltreise. Kunst Aus Deutschland UnterwegsZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, KarlsruheGroup
2013Kunst & Textil – Stoff als Material und Idee in der Moderne von Klimt bis heuteKunstmuseum Wolfsburg, WolfsburgGroup
2013Jesus Reloaded. Das Christusbild Im 20. JahrhundertKunsthaus Stade, StadeGroup
2013Art Sheffield 2013Art sheffield, SheffieldGroup
2013Embracing ImpermanenceNýlistasafnið, The Living Art Museum, ReykjavikGroup
2013B.A.B.E - The Best Artists Books and EditorsImmanence, espace d'art contemporain, ParisGroup
2013Helms And FriendsGalerie Judith Andreae, BonnGroup
2013New ImageDavid Winton Bell Gallery, Providence, RIGroup
2013Word + WorkGalerie nächst St. Stephan - Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, ViennaGroup
2013ReMap 4ReMap, AthensGroup
2013When Attitudes Become IconsHäusler Contemporary - Zurich, ZurichGroup
2013Cubes And Rectangles, Boxes And ContainersAlbright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NYGroup
201330 Years ( Part One )Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, SalzburgGroup
2013Global WarmingMannheimer Kunstverein, MannheimGroup
2013Why not live for Art? II - 9 collectors reveal their treasuresTokyo Opera City Art Gallery, TokyoGroup
2013Adventures of truth - Painting and philosophyFondation Maeght, Saint-PaulGroup
2013Circles / KreiseKunstverein Bamberg, BambergGroup
2013When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969 / Venezia 2013Fondazione Prada, VeniceGroup
2013This is Not a Love SongLa Virreina, Centre de la Imatge, BarcelonaGroup
2013Economics in ArtMuseum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK), KrakowGroup
2013An Artist Collecting ArtVestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, VestfossenGroup
2013Disobedience Archive (The Republic)Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, TurinGroup
2013Video Vintage 1963-1983Beirut Art Center, BeirutGroup
2013The Temptation of the DiagramAndrea Rosen Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Through A Glass Darkly - Faces Past And PresentErnst Museum Budapest, BudapestGroup
2013In progressMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , ViennaGroup
2013Yes Man Does What It IsBonner Kunstverein, BonnGroup
2013Boxes - Green & OthersArt Attitude Hervé Bize, NancyGroup
2013First View: New Acquisitions from Private CollectionsGalerie Philipp Konzett, ViennaGroup
2013Shakers & MoversVW (VeneKlasen/Werner), BerlinGroup
2012Memory, Energy, TransformationDe Hallen, HaarlemSolo
2012IphigenieGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisSolo
2012Joseph Beuys: Appeal for an AlternativeMoscow museum of modern art - MMOMA, MoscowSolo
2012Joseph Beuys. IntuitionKunsthalle Göppingen, GöppingenSolo
2012From Death to Death and Other Small Tales | Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the D.DaskScottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
2012Correspondences Modern Art and UniversalismMuzeum Sztuki Lodz, LodzGroup
2012FacesErnst Museum Budapest, BudapestGroup
2012Die Sammlung #221er Haus, ViennaGroup
2012In Search of TimeEli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East LansingGroup
2012BelieversKOW - Koch Oberhuber Wolff, BerlinGroup
2012Do You Know My Age? - Wissen Sie Mein Alter?Factory-Art - Berlin, BerlinGroup
2012Language GamesCentro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, CáceresGroup
2012GoldrauschKunsthalle Nürnberg, NurembergGroup
2012Don´t Smile - Vom Humor der KunstKunstmuseum Liechtenstein, VaduzGroup
2012Art is LiturgyKolumba, CologneGroup
2012BronzeRoyal Academy of Arts, LondonGroup
2012Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual ArtBrooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NYGroup
2012Props For MemoryInvisible-Exports, New York City, NYGroup
2012Lost FacesGraphikmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster, MünsterGroup
2012SilenceThe Menil Collection, Houston, TXGroup
2012Anti-Illusion. Objekte. ProzesseKunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, BochumGroup
2012Selected PrintsGalerie Heinz Holtmann, CologneGroup
2012Something Else about FluxusStella A., BerlinGroup
2012The Hero, the Heroine and the AuthorLudwig Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art - Budapest, BudapestGroup
2012The Nature Of Disappearance: Part 2Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2012Reflecting Fashion - kunst und Mode seit der ModerneMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , ViennaGroup
2012Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2012On The Road To FluxusDie Kunstagentin, CologneGroup
2012A House Full Of MusicStrategien In Musik Und Kunst - Mathildenhöhe, DarmstadtGroup
2012Record>Again! 40Jahrevideokunst.deTeil 2 - SALT Beyoğlu, IstanbulGroup
2012The Aesthetics of Sustainability: Examples to Follow Goethe-Institut Addis Abeba, Addis AbebaGroup
2012The Artists’ Postcard ShowSpike Island, BristolGroup
2012Art and pressMartin-Gropius-Bau, BerlinGroup
2012PaganismKalmar konstmuseum, KalmarGroup
2012The Poster ShowGalerie Carlier | Gebauer, BerlinGroup
2011Multiples, Graphiken, Arbeiten auf PapierStädtische Galerie sohle 1, BergkamenSolo
2011Tales of the CityGoMA - Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, ScotlandGroup
2011Fluxus In Germany 1962 - 1994National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), BucharestGroup
2011Signed, Sealed, DeliveredZach Feuer Gallery (LFL), New York City, NYGroup
2011I Love ALDIWilhelm Hack Museum, LudwigshafenGroup
2011FiatLeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011From Trash To TreasureVom Wert des Wertlosen in der Kunst - Kunsthalle zu Kiel, KielGroup
2011HighlightsGalerie Klüser, MunichGroup
2011Joseph Beuys: CoyoteLarge Glass, LondonGroup
2011Atlas. How To Carry The World On One's Back?Sammlung Falckenberg, HamburgGroup
2011WELL MET IN THE DARK!HEART, Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, HerningGroup
2011Germany Is Your AmericaBroadway 1602, New York City, NYGroup
2011The Concept Sublime: 35 Years Brigitte March GalleryBrigitte March International Contemporary Art, StuttgartGroup
2011Every Soldier an ArtistChelouche Gallery of Contemporary Art, Tel AvivGroup
2011Workers Leaving the WorkplaceMuzeum Sztuki Lodz, LodzGroup
2011SUMMER GROUP SHOWGalerie Heinz Holtmann, CologneGroup
2011A History of EditionsGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin - Paris, ParisGroup
2011Taking ShapeRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
2011Made in ItalyGagosian Gallery, RomeGroup
2011Thirty are better than oneGalerie Tanit, MunichGroup
2011Land ArtHamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, BerlinGroup
20111979, a Monument to Radical MomentsLa Virreina - Centre de la Imatge, BarcelonaGroup
2011Compass - Drawings from the Museum of Modern Art New York Martin-Gropius-Bau, BerlinGroup
2011Rising with a SunKunstmuseum Liechtenstein, VaduzGroup
2011The Pilgrim, the Tourist, the Flaneur (and the Worker) Play Van Abbe Part 4Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, EindhovenGroup
2011The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to TodayKunsthaus Zürich, ZurichGroup
2011Objects of Devotion and DesireMedieval Relic to Contemporary Art - Hunter College, New York City, NYGroup
2011Sculpture In So Many Words: Text Pieces 1960-75ZieherSmith, New York City, NYGroup
2010I like America and America likes meTrade, NottinghamSolo
2010ParallelprozesseK20 Grabbeplatz, DusseldorfSolo
2010Beuys: EnergieplanZeichnungen aus dem Museum Schloss Moyland - Museum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-HauSolo
2010Make The Secrets ProductiveThe Pace Gallery - 534 West 25th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2010We Are The RevolutionMary Boone Gallery - 745 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NYSolo
2010I Believe in Miracles - 10thanniversary of the Lambert CollectionCollection Lambert, AvignonGroup
2010THE BIENNIAL WINTER SALON 2010Elga Wimmer PCC, New York City, NYGroup
2010Highlights on PaperGalerie Heinz Holtmann, CologneGroup
2010Art NowThe Columns, SeoulGroup
2010Tv/arts/tv - La Televisio, Presa, Pels, ArtistesArts Santa Mònica, BarcelonaGroup
2010Fashionable artMode in der Kunst - Kunst Raum Riehen, BaselGroup
2010The Good, The Bad & the UglyCultuurcentrum Mechelen, MechelenGroup
2010Recipes For An EncounterDorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs (DGCP), New York City, NYGroup
2010A Shot in the DarkWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2010Food For ThoughtJessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2010Press Art - Sammlung Annette und Peter NobelMuseum der Moderne - MdM Mönchsberg, SalzburgGroup
2010Other Than BeautyFriedman Benda Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010CONCEPT 70Hohenthal und Bergen, BerlinGroup
2010Works from the Gallery CollectionCarl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2010The Modern Myth: Drawing Mythologies in Modern TimesMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2010Sculpture as Time: Major works. New AcquisitionsArt Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ONGroup
2010Summa SummarumNational Center For Contemporary Art (NCCA) - Moscow Branch, MoscowGroup
2010Modern Times: responding to chaosKettle's Yard, Cambridge, CambridgeshireGroup
2010Choices VIIGalerie Rigassi, BernGroup
2010Radical NatureDick Institute, Kilmarnock, East Ayshire, ScotlandGroup
2009Objekte und MultiplesGalerie Roy, ZülpichSolo
20098 Days - Beuys in JapanArt Tower Mito ATM, MitoSolo
2009Skulpturen - Objekte - ZeichnungenGalerie Klüser, MunichSolo
2009Beuys is hereDe La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on SeaSolo
2009Impuls: Joseph BeuysStädtische Kunsthalle Mannheim, MannheimSolo
2009Hellenic References in his ArtworkHellenic American Union Gallery, AthensSolo
2009Joseph Beuys Early works on paper from the collection of Helga and Walther LauffsHauser & Wirth, London (closed, 2013)Solo
2009All Creatures Great and SmallZacheta - National Gallery of Art, WarsawGroup
2009RECORD>AGAIN!Kunsthaus Dresden, DresdenGroup
2009MOCA´s First Thirty YearsMOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Art of Live - for 5 000 € - La Triennale di MilanoDesign Museum, MilanGroup
2009The Irreverent ObjectLuhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009From Memory. About knowing and forgettingMuseum Dr. Guislain, GhentGroup
2009AmericaBeirut Art Center, BeirutGroup
2009I Love MalmöKumu Art Museum, TallinnGroup
2009Who killed the Painting?Weserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, BremenGroup
2009On the Margins of Art. Creation and Political EngagementMuseu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, BarcelonaGroup
2009Sammlung ReloadedKunstmuseum Bonn, BonnGroup
2009Other Voices - Art & everyday LifeMuseet for Samtidskunst, RoskildeGroup
2009White NoiseJames Cohan Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009In-finitumMuseo Fortuny, VeniceGroup
2009BLACK & WHITE WORKSRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, NYGroup
2009Works on paper selected from the collection of Wes MillsHolter Museum of Art, Helena, MTGroup
2009Is it a bicycle? El arte como vehículoGalería Edurne, MadridGroup
2009The Quick and the DeadWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2009Soft sculptureNational Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACTGroup
2009Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings CollectionMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2009The Endless RenaissanceBass Museum of Art, Miami, FLGroup
2009Happy Birthday - The First Anniversary of the Gallery GALLERY 1Black Cube Gallery, Calle Horitzontal, BarcelonaGroup
2009Paper: Pressed, Stained, Slashed, FoldedMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2009Collected VisionsBronx Museum of the Arts (BxMA), New York City, NYGroup
2009Something else!!!!MAN - Museo d`Arte di Nuoro, NuoroGroup
2009EditionsSolwayJones, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008Kult des Künstlers: BEUYS. Die Revolution sind wirHamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, BerlinSolo
2008SchamaneKunsthalle Krems, KremsSolo
2008MultiplesIVAM - Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, ValenciaSolo
2008Winter Salon – Works on PaperBjörn Ressle Gallery, New York City, NGroup
2008Light In SightNTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], TokyoGroup
2008Good Guy - Bad GuyStella A., BerlinGroup
2008The Art of Participation: 1950 to NowSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CAGroup
2008Rock My Religion 1DA2 - Domus Artium 2002, SalamancaGroup
2008SERIES DRAWINGSMichael Werner Gallery - New York, New York City, NYGroup
2007oseph Beuys. Difesa della Natura. The Living Sculpture. Kassel 1977Arsenale Novissimo – Spazio Thetis, VeniceSolo
2007Joseph Beuys - EditionsLa Caja Negra, MadridSolo
2007Joseph Beuys: Celtic+Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KSSolo
2006Die Materialien und ihre BotschaftMuseum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-HauSolo
2006Joseph Beuys aus der Sammlung des MUMOKMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , ViennaSolo
2006Intuition/Thought/formFMOCA - Forever Museum of Contemporary Art, Akita CitySolo
2006Grafik und MultipleMaximilian Krips Galerie, Cologne (closed, 2007)Solo
2006Coyote: I Like America and America Likes Me (1974)The RISD Museum - University of Rhode Island, Providence, RISolo
2006Another View of Joseph BeuysMultiples from - David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence, RISolo
2006Lebenslauf = WerklaufHamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, BerlinSolo
2006Skulpturen, Objekte, ZeichnungenGALERIE KLÜSER 2, MunichSolo
2005Auflagenobj. u. graph. Serien von Joseph BeuysKunstmuseum Bonn, BonnSolo
2005Ja, Ja, Ja, Ja, Ja, Nee, Nee, Nee, Nee, NeeLewis Glucksman Gallery, CorkSolo
2005Werke von Joseph BeuysHamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, BerlinSolo
2005Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, EnvironmentsTate Modern, LondonSolo
2004Actions, Vitrines and EnvironmentsThe Menil Collection, Houston, TXSolo
2004Arbeiten auf Papier / ObjekteGALERIE KLÜSER 2, MunichSolo
2004Joseph Beuys: Multiple MessagesTrack 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2004Show Your Wound: the Death and Times of Joseph BeuysTrack 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2004Disegni, Oggetti, Stampe. 1948-1985Villa Croce Museo d´Arte Contemporanea, GenoaSolo
2004Just hit the mark: Works from the Speck CollectionGagosian Gallery , New York City, NYSolo
2003... aus dem SchmerzraumKrypta 182 Kunstverein Bergisch Gladbach, Bergisch Gladbach (closed, 2007)Solo
2003Denken, Reden, Machen, Joseph Beuys für Kinder und JugendlicheMuseum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-HauSolo
2003Polentransport 1981City Gallery of Bratislava / Galéria mesta Bratislavy, BratislavaSolo
2003JOSEPH BEUYS - 'Hinter dem Knochen wird gezählt' - Grafik, Objekte, PlastikBrigitte March International Contemporary Art, StuttgartSolo
2002The Jörg Schellmann Collection of Joseph Beuys MultiplesWeston Link, Edinburgh, ScotlandSolo
2002The Jörg Schellmann Collection of Joseph Beuys MultiplesDean Gallery, Edinburgh, ScotlandSolo
2002Besondere Säfte: Joseph Beuys. Wasserfarben 1942-1963Horst Janssen Museum, OldenburgSolo
2002Pflanze,Tier und MenschMuseum im Prediger, Schwäbisch GmündSolo
2001Joseph Beuys 1921 - 1986 - Wer nicht denken will fliegt raus !Edition Staeck, HeidelbergSolo
2001Joseph Beuys - wer nicht denken will fliegt raus!Heck-Art-Galerie Kunst für Chemnitz e.V. , ChemnitzSolo
2001Pflanze Tier und MenschKonsthallen Trollhättan, TrollhättanSolo
2001ZUM ACHTZIGSTEN - Beuys in AmerikaEdition Staeck, HeidelbergSolo
200050 Multiples aus einer PrivatsammlungGalerie Schedler, Zurich (closed)Solo
2000Die Sammlung StaeckStädtische Galerie Wolfsburg, WolfsburgSolo
2000Joseph Beuys // DrawingsKunstTachometer PALMA DE MALLORCA, Palma de MallorcaSolo
2000Beuys - Drawings - Objects - PrintsBorusan Sanat Galerisi / Borusan Art Gallery, Istanbul (closed, 2006)Solo
2000Joseph Beuys - MultiplesSan Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CASolo
1999Joseph Beuys: DrawingsMassachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art - MASSMoCA, North Adams, MASolo
1999Editionen Sammlung Reinhard SchlegelHamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, BerlinSolo
1998Drawings after the Codices Madrid of Leonardo da VinciDia Art Foundation: Chelsea, New York City, NYSolo
1997In/Tuition: A Seminar's Engagement with Joseph BeuysBusch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, MASolo
19973-Tonnen-EditionKrypta 182 Kunstverein Bergisch Gladbach, Bergisch Gladbach (closed, 2007)Solo
1997Joseph Beuys: drawings, objects, etchingsMMCA Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, ThessalonikiSolo
1997Joseph Beuys MultiplesWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNSolo
1996Scultures, vitrines, objects, drawingsKukje Gallery, SeoulSolo
1996Joseph Beuys: The Sled as SymbolBusch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, MASolo
1996Joseph Beuys: DruckgraphikKunstsammlungen der Ruhr, Universität Bochum, BochumSolo
1995Joseph Beuys: Drawings, objects, printsLudwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art - Budapest, BudapestSolo
1995Joseph Beuys - Grafik und ObjekteGalerie am Ratswall, BitterfeldSolo
1995Joseph Beuys: Signed Posters + MultiplesUbu Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1994Zeichnungen 1954 - 1978Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, SalzburgSolo
1994Thinking is Form: The Drawings of Joseph BeuysThe Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, ILSolo
1993Thinking is Form: The Drawings of Joseph BeuysPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PASolo
1993Documenta-ArbeitKunsthalle Fridericianum, KasselSolo
1993Thinking Is Form: The Drawings Of Joseph BeuysMOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CASolo
1992Joseph Beuys: disegni, oggetti, stampePalazzo delle Esposizioni, RomeSolo
1991Joseph Beuys - Watari-UmWatari Museum of Contemporary Art, TokyoSolo
1991Drawings and Watercolours 1941 to 1984Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London (closed, 2001)Solo
1990Joseph Beuys: Works from the Dia Art FoundationThe Menil Collection, Houston, TXSolo
1990The End of the Twentieth CenturyAnthony d'Offay Gallery, London (closed, 2001)Solo
1988Joseph Beuys - Early Drawings and Editioned ObjectsDavid Nolan Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1987Joseph Beuys - Plastische TheorieKunstverein Xanten e.V. (KUX), XantenSolo
1986Joseph Beuys - Grafik - Objekte - ZeichnungenGalerie Heinz Holtmann, CologneSolo
1985PlightAnthony d'Offay Gallery, London (closed, 2001)Solo
1985Joseph Beuys – Is it about a bicycle ?Galerie Beaubourg, VenceSolo
1984Joseph Beuys: LandschaftenStädtische Galerie Nordhorn, NordhornSolo
1983Joseph Beuys: Roséwein…Galerie Erhard Klein, Bad MünstereifelSolo
1983Vitrines: Forms of the SixtiesAnthony d'Offay Gallery, London (closed, 2001)Solo
1982Joseph Beuys: Art-Rite und Dr. Speck Multiple (Federspiel)Galerie Erhard Klein, Bad MünstereifelSolo
1982Das Kapital - InKHalle für internationale neue Kunst, Zurich (closed)Solo
1980Stripes from the House of the ShamanAnthony d'Offay Gallery, London (closed, 2001)Solo
1980DrawingsKunsthalle Bielefeld, BielefeldSolo
1980DrawingsNeue Nationalgalerie, BerlinSolo
1978Beuys-Tracce in ItaliaPalazzo Ducale, GenoaSolo
1977Joseph Beuys - the secret block for a secret person in IrelandKunstmuseum Basel, BaselSolo
1976Fond IV/4Galerie Schmela, Dusseldorf (closed, 2008)Solo
1975Beuys-sculptureGalerie René Block - New York, New York City, NY (closed)Solo
1974I like America and America likes MeGalerie René Block - New York, New York City, NY (closed)Solo
1973Joseph Beuys: Multiples, Bücher und KatalogeGalerie Erhard Klein, Bad MünstereifelSolo
1971Joseph Beuys. Aktioner AktionenModerna Museet, StockholmSolo
1969Joseph Beuys FOND IIIGalerie Schmela, Dusseldorf (closed, 2008)Solo