Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) was among the most significant artists to emerge in Germany after the Second World War. He is best known for his sculpture and performance art, and often used found objects and everyday materials in his work. Beuys also drew constantly: drawing allowed him to experiment with different concepts and create a reservoir of ideas for other projects.
This selection of works on paper revolves around the theme of death and reveals his sculptor’s approach; building up the paper’s surface with collage. Beuys not only challenged artistic traditions and expanded the definition of sculpture, but expressed through his nuanced practice a deep concern with political activism and social change.