press release

BEUYS – LEHMBRUCK. Thinking is Sculpture
June 25–November 1, 2021

There are not many artists who caused as radical an upheaval in the history of art as Joseph Beuys. With his concept of “social sculpture,” he sought to apply the liberating potential of art to all areas of life. At the very heart of his thinking was the dissolution of the boundaries between art and society, politics, science and education. Thus Beuys gave rise to a new, expanded concept of art.

In 1986, just a few days before his death, Beuys was awarded the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize. In his acceptance speech, he stressed the importance the art of the Expressionist sculptor had for him. He explained how his encounter with Lehmbruck’s work had led him to art in the first place and traced a connection between Lehmbruck and the development of his own concept of social sculpture. Marking the 100th birthday of Joseph Beuys, the exhibition Beuys – Lehmbruck: Thinking is Sculpture explores that idea and presents the work of the two artists.

The exhibition presents important works by both artists. Among them are Joseph Beuys’s Honey Pump at the Workplace (documenta 6, 1977), Tram Stop (Venice Biennale, 1976) and the installation Voglio vedere le mie montagne from the Van Abbemuseum. Many of the sculptures by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, which will form the second focal point of the exhibition (among them Kneeling Woman, Head of a Thinker, Fallen Man and Man Ascending), come from the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg.

BEUYS PLATFORM on the Museum Square.
Cause=Future. until October 10, 2021. For Beuys, the society of the future was a great social sculpture to which all of us contribute. In 1977, he conducted workshops of his Free International University at documenta 6, talking to the public and people working on alternative models of society every day throughout the run of the show.

The Bundeskunsthalle and the Kunstmuseum Bonn are creating a communal meeting space on the Museum Square that follows these ideas. To this end, students from the Alanus University of Art and Social Sciences have designed an architectural platform and a sculptural straw bale garden, where, under the guidance of the collective A Fair Land Pforzheim different types of pumpkins will be cultivated and harvested together - a process of organic growth that promises a rich harvest and multiple uses.

Throughout the summer, the platform will host a series of talks and workshops on various topics: How do we want to shape our future? What is socially and ecologically sustainable? Who owns public space? We invite you to drop by and join in the conversation!

BEUYS – LEHMBRUCK: Thinking is Sculpture. An exhibition of the Bundeskunsthalle in cooperation with the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg. Concurrent: LEHMBRUCK – BEUYS: Everything is Sculpture, June 26 – November 1, 2021 at the Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg

The exhibition is part of the Beuys anniversary year programme “beuys 2021: 100 years joseph beuys”

Director: Eva Kraus. Curator: Johanna Adam. Press Officer: Sven Bergmann.