The Artist Birthday Series

Joseph Beuys

Moment from “I Like America And America Likes Me,” performance piece by Joseph Beuys, New York City, USA – May, 1974

In May, 1985, Beuys began to suffer from what was most likely pleurisy, or an inflammation of the lungs. His health declined and the resultant stress on his body caused him to suffer fatal heart failure on 23 January 1986, in Düsseldorf, Germany. He was cremated and his ashes scattered in the North Sea, as per his wishes.

Portrait of Joseph Beuys, by Robert Lebeck, c. 1978
Portrait of Joseph Beuys, by Robert Lebeck, c. 1978

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1 thought on “Joseph Beuys

  1. […] Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was a German Fluxus artist, one of the first to organize “happenings” through performance art, who also worked as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist, and pedagogue. The concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy were central to his work and life. He developed his own “extended definition of art,” seeing the artist not as a craftsman but instead as fulfilling the role of modern shaman. Though not a common household name, Beuys is considered by many scholars of art history, as one of the most influential artists of the second half of the twentieth century. […]

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