Records state that Beuys was conscious, recovered by a German search commando, and there were no Tatars in the village at that time. Beuys was brought to a military hospital where he stayed for three weeks from 17 March to 7 April. It is not inconsistent with Beuys’ work that his biography would have been subject to his own reinterpretation; this particular story has served as a powerful myth of origins for Beuys’s artistic identity, as well as providing an initial interpretive key to his use of unconventional materials, amongst which felt and fat were central.
He returned to his parents home in a suburb of Kleve, and there, he met the local sculptor Walter Brüx and painter Hanns Lamers, who encouraged him to take up art as a full-time career. He joined the Kleve Artists Association that had been established by Brüx and Lamers. On 1 April 1946, Beuys enrolled in the “Monumental Sculpture” program at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts. Initially assigned to the class of Joseph Enseling, with a traditional, representational focus he successfully applied to change his mentor after three semesters and joined the small class of Ewald Mataré in 1947, who had rejoined the academy the preceding year, after having been banned by the Nazis in 1939.
The anthroposophic philosophy of Rudolf Steiner became an increasingly important basis for Beuys’ reasoning, in his view it is: “… 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”. Reaffirming his interest in science, Beuys re-established contact with Heinz Sielmann and assisted with a number of nature- and wildlife documentaries in the region between 1947 and 1949.
% | % | % | % | % | % | % | % | % | % | %