»My whole life has been advertising. But one really ought to consider what it is that I’ve been advertising.« joseph beuys, 1981b
The exhibition »›My whole life has been advertising‹. How Beuys Became Beuys« explores the reception history of Joseph Beuys. It presents a series of pivotal publications by and about the artist that have documented and shaped his perception since his first public appearance. On display are catalogues and posters from the collection of the University and State Library of Düsseldorf together with material drawn from radio, film, and television archives. The exhibition spans the period from 1961, the year the artist's first monographic catalogue was published on the occasion of his first solo exhibition at Haus Koekkoek in Kleve, to 2021, the year in which the centenary of the artist’s birth is being celebrated across the world. With its associative, close-up view of the artist, who saw himself as a sculptor, a revolutionary and a scientist of freedom, the exhibition offers an accessible insight into the »problem« with Beuys. It reflects on the ongoing construction and deconstruction of a public figure, as controversial as he is inspiring, whose treatment of history continues to polarise people to this day.
opening 28 oct 2021, 6 pm