Joseph Beuys, Cardiff
Tues - Sun 10:00am - 5:00pm
Among the most important European artists of the twentieth century, Joseph Beuys was known for performances and sculptural installations that explored myth, politics and man’s relationship to the natural world. He saw creativity as central to human existence, and his art was rooted in processes of change and transformation. His sculptures were often based on found objects which he invested with symbolic associations derived from science, anthropology and his own life.
This exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff brought together a range of work in different media from the extensive holdings of Joseph Beuys in the ARTIST ROOMS collection. Installed in a dedicated space in the Museum’s newly opened galleries for modern and contemporary art, the display made powerful connections with adjacent displays from the Museum’s own outstanding collection of post-1950 art.
In particular, the exhibition revealed Beuys’ longstanding interest in the survival of the Celtic spirit in northern Europe. Reference was made to Beuys’ contribution to the exhibition 'How the Past Perishes – How the Future Becomes', organised by Caroline Tisdall for the Wrexham Eisteddfod in 1977. The artist saw the Wrexham event as an extension of his seminal installation 'Honeypump' at Documenta 6. Beuys’ interest in the Celtic, and its particular relevance to audiences in Wales, was explored in accompanying events and a schools programme.