Krefeld, 1921 - Düsseldorf, 1986

Joseph Beuys

From an early age Joseph Beuys dedicated himself to drawing in order to record the botanical discoveries he made during his excursions into the area surrounding Cleves. During the Second World War he enrolled in the air force, but his plane was hit mid-flight and he was saved by the treatment of a group of Tartar nomads. This experience left its mark on the artist's creative direction, introducing him to the constant search for harmony between man and nature, a dedication which led many critics to give him the name the shaman of art. He experimented with various expressive techniques working in mediums from graphics and sculpture to photography and "happenings". Sympathetic to ecologist themes, in 1982 he took part in the Documenta 7 exhibition at Kassel with the work 7000 oaks, a triangle of 7000 basalt stones, all for "adoption", with the sum raised from the adoption being used to plant seven thousand oak trees in the area surrounding the city of Kassel. In 1981, he welcomed the invitation from Lucio Amelio to subscribe to the idea of transforming the destructive energy of the 1980 earthquake into the vital energy of the artistic act. His work Terremoto in Palazzo is part of the Terrae Motus Collection at the Royal Palace of Caserta.