Saturday, September 19, 2009

Joseph Beuys, Artist, Activist, Teacher

The museum presented Beuys' 2D works, a few video documentations of performances, and work of many of his students. I have never cared for Beuys before, turned off by his cult status. But this exhibit made me appreciate what a magnetic teacher he must have been.
From a wall label:
Joseph Beuys, drawings from 1974
Paper as a medium is of key importance for Beuys, who regarded drawing as “an extension of thought” that directly reflects the creative process… the fleeting drawings, words, and diagrams lend immediate visual form to Beuys’ teaching as a process in flux that sets discussions and thought processes into motion. For Beuys, learning was a matter of finding one’s own personal content, one’s goals and the paths one needed to attain them. He became involved only after his students presented him the results. Beuys’ group critiques were legendary—and anticipated with fear. “Beuys was very strict and very definite,” recalls Walter Dahn, “He delivered clear and definitive judgments concerning the works presented to him. And they really hit home.” For Immendorff, Beuy’s judgments were absolute: “It was like a stamp of quality.”

Imi Knoebel, Grace Kelly, 38 pieces “The icon Grace Kelly is referred to in an abstract repetition of total unreachability.”
Katherina Sieverding “… thematizes consumerism, glamour, mass media, and gender…”
Sabanci Museum in Sariyer is beautifully designed for seeing art, and surrounded by lush gardens. Restaurant prohibitively expensive.

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