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Research project: Joseph Beuys. Question 3: Identify and document the names (and examples of their work) of 3 artists or designers that influence the artist/designer/studio you have chosen. . STEPS TAKEN: Research project

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research project joseph beuys

Research project: Joseph Beuys

  • Question 3:
  • Identify and document the names (and examples of their work) of 3 artists or designers that influence the artist/designer/studio you have chosen.
STEPS TAKEN: Research project
  • Read Books (used book marks areas of interest), Internet: Google searched. (Start Wikipedia then expand from there.)
  • Went through research material, made notes or copied and printed out all relevant info. (with links attached re referencing).
  • Identified key people
  • Selected key images regarding major works and images relating to these from other artists.
  • Researched , made notes, cut and paste relevant info re related artists and work.... printed out accordingly.
  • Re read through all information, highlighting key points, NB: ORANGE = ARTIST / PEOPLE INFLUENCES (use other colours for other things),notations in the margins re categories
  • Go back to the computer make an image map with key connections.
  • Formulate info into groups that match key areas / ideas. (Cut and paste from info collected)
  • Construct sentences to support ideas. (Possibly use 1 quote per idea to support own words).
key art influences people with basic notes
Key Art influences (People with basic notes)

Albert Durer (Animals, the hare, figures and portrait)

Rudolf Steiner (ideas, teachings, alchemy & anthroposophy, lecture on bees and honey, sharmanist etc. This influenced his approach to education and art, society, life, ideas and materials used in his work (sculptures, installations, actions, performances etc.)

Marcel Duchamp (Dada & the readymade, ideas underpining the role of art)

Fluxus Group (Performance, activities, social change and politics)

Wilhelm Lehmbruck(including ‘degenerate art’, expressionism and the nude.)

Leonardo Da Vinci (Interest in the human form, the animal and Madonna with Child, Pieta, spiritual aspects)

Carl Jung



James Joyce (Reference made to his work ‘Ulysses’ through a series of 327 drawings made in the late 1940’s & 50’s)

Paracelsus (Swiss alchemist) Use of materials, alchemy etc

Tutors: (Hans Lamers & Walter Bruex: Watercolour skills & most influential tutor was EwaldMatare)

Colleagues: Nam June Pak (fluxus), Heinz Sielmann (film maker), Erwin Heerich

Other: War experiences, Nazi regime & the myth surrounding his rescue by Tartars upon his air crash in W.W. II.

early work and related influences noting key elements and a possible quote
Early work and related influences: Noting key elements and a possible quote.

Beuys fig drawing

Wilhelm_Lehmbruck; 'Standing Youth', cast stone sculpture by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, 1913, Museum of Modern Art (New York City)

Joseph Beuys; Flower Nymph, Water colour drawing

Key quote: “Lehmbruck’s figures gradually abandoned the classical style and became more expressive with the elongated room – filling forms “ (Ref “

Key elements: Interest in the figurative, expressionism and degenerative art alongside the fascination with the human condition and sculpture as an art form.

Image mapping; making visual connections: ‘How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare’ 1965 (Performance / Action)

Lady with an Ermine, Leonardo da Vinci, 1482-5

WilheimLehmbruck,Mutter und Kind, 1907, gypsum cast.

Leonardo daVinci:Madonna and Child

Fluxus manifesto


Durer; Hare, Drawings on paper

image mapping making visual connections explaining it with words
Image mapping; making visual connections. Explaining it with words

Pic of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Pieta’ or ‘Madonna’

Whilst Beuys’ work has been called the ‘new Mona Lisa of the 20th Century ’ (ref wiki),

This still image of ‘How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare’ 1965 (Performance references Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna and Child along side other seminal works. This can be seen as Beuys sits on a stool which stands on a plinth, cradling and whispering to the dead hare and discussing the drawings that line the gallery wall. The cradling of the dead hare can be likened to the cradling of a baby re Lehmbrucks sculpture. Lehmbrucks formal sculptural rigor as well as ideas surrounding art influenced Beuys “Every work of art must carry with it a trace of the first days of creation – the smell of the earth, one might say. Something animal.”Lehmbruck. Reference:>sect=Articles>cat=Review

expanding on image mapping making visual connections more words
Expanding on image mapping; making visual connections- More words

The strategy of performance/ action can be directly linked to the actions of the Fluxus group to which Beuys was a member for a short time. On the right is a picture of Durer’s Hare . The rigor and discipline of drawing, alongside the detail given to the fur is reminiscent of Beuys. Durer also drew a self portrait in a hare or rabbit fur coat. The interest in the animal world and the use of animals in art work was common to both Beuys and Durers still life works. Beuys’ interest is anthroposophical, this can be seen in the references to the natural world, alchemy and its relationship to society and art which is reinforced in his use of materials. The gold leaf and honey smeared on his head relates directly

to Rudolf Steiners interest and lectures on bees and the social habits they exhibit. The felt sole of his shoe he wore on the left foot, the iron sole worn on the right in accordance with Steiner’s ideas about the left side of the body being more receptive and inner whilst the right side is considered more outwardly orientated and active.

Fluxus manifesto

expand if necessary
Expand if necessary.

Rudolf Steiner was highly influential on Beuys, numerous readings and lecture notes were found “Anthroposophical ideas influenced Beuys’ political theory of a democratic, artistically and spiritually motivated society.”- (reference: Society is inter-related to art and the artist is integral in establishing meaning and a spiritual dimension in society (playing the role of a shaman).

Other back ground information that supports related artists and influences.

NB: This stuff might be used.... Reflect and re read the task before deciding.

Ask yourself:

Does this make sense?

Do I need this info?

Have I written enough?

Is this relevant to the question or should I put this info somewhere else?

Now decide what else you need to include....

Where do you put it.

other possible information materials making method meaning
Other possible information:Materials+ Making + Method = Meaning.

Image of Rudolf Steiner and image of Duchamp playing chess.

Duchamps intention in using the readymade is a shift in the way in which art operates so the focus is no longer centered on the crafted object but on interpretation and generating symbolic meaning, resulting in a conceptual challenge for the viewer. Beuys uses readymade objects (such as the chair in Fat Chair and the Felt Piano) alongside what could be considered a Dada approach (performances & actions). Duchamps desire for the intellectual engagement was also at the premise of Beuys ‘actions’, however Beuys was also known to question Duchamps practice: “In 1964, he performed one of his “Actions”... called The Silence of Marcel Duchamp Is Overated. In it he criticised Duchamp’s decision to withdraw from the art scene in order to play chess. Beuys saw it as a dereliction of duty, because he really did believe the only thing that could save the world was art.” (ref: My Life in Art: How Joseph Beus convinced me of the power of conceptual art. Will,Thursday5March200912.10GMT.Article http//

Possible quotes: Consider quote of Steiner and materials / alchamy = ideas. Consider finding quote re idea being most important. (Duchamp)

Writing about the influences/ connections:
  • Select a work and related influence. Divide into pairs.
  • Describe in your own words to your neighbor what the links are that enables you to say there is an influence. (your neighbor/ partner should write down what you say, and give it back to you).
  • Identify a quote that reinforces or expands on this.     (copy out).
  • Bring the quote and your dictated words together and expand as required.
  • Get your neighbor to proof read what you have written. (Give feedback, suggestions etc)
  • Swap and repeat from no 2.