»when i was starting out, feelings were maybe my point of departure, but by now ideas have crystallized.« joseph beuys, 1969a
the exhibition »intuition! dimensions of the early work of joseph beuys 1946–1961« examines the period between joseph beuys’s return to kleve after the war at the age of twenty-four and his appointment as a professor at the kunstakademie düsseldorf in 1961. during this »incubation period«, themes relevant to his future work emerged and a series of three-dimensional essays on these themes now provides a framework for the exhibition: 1. biography as material for artistic forming, 2. kindred spirits (lohengrin, cloots, steiner, lehmbruck), 3. early companions (lamers, getlinger, mataré), 4. christian influences and eurasian horizons, 5. depictions of animals: from elementary experiences to the body politic, 6. self-image – image – action, 7. universalist thinking today?
the aim of the exhibition is neither to venerate a local saint nor to topple an artist from an earlier generation. instead it highlights the influences, ideas and caesuras that saw beuys develop from a »sensitive traditionalist« into a »visionary social sculptor«.
curated by harald kunde, susanne figner and guest curator wolfgang zumdick