Joseph Beuys, born 1921 in Krefeld and died 1986 in Düsseldorf, was a German Fluxus, happening, and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist, and pedagogue.
His extensive work is grounded in concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy. It culminates in his “extended definition of art” and the idea of social sculpture as a gesamtkunstwerk, for which he claimed a creative, participatory role in shaping society and politics. His career was characterized by passionate and only rarely acrimonious open public debates on a very wide range of subjects including political, environmental, social and long-term cultural trends. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century.
As a very personal tribute to this great artist The Beuys- Festival in Düsseldorf was organized and curated five years after his death by Tom Hawk and his fellow artist, the conceptual photographer Heinz-Günter Mebusch.