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Artist Rooms: Joseph Beuys

Artist Rooms: Joseph Beuys
Dates and times

Until 21 Jan 2018

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Leeds Art Gallery

The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AA

Leeds Art Gallery reopens its galleries after a period of closure to undergo essential repairs to the historic Victorian building. Reopening programme highlights include Artist Rooms a Joseph Beuys exhibition featuring important sculptures and works on paper by this influential German artist drawn from the Artist Rooms collection.

Joseph Beuys (born in Krefeld in 1921, died in Düsseldorf in 1986) was one of the twentieth century’s most important and revolutionary cultural figures. This exhibition marks an important return to the city by the artist, who last exhibited in Leeds with the exhibition Joseph Beuys: Drawings in 1983. The city later acquired one of Joseph Beuys’s oak trees and accompanying basalt stone from his 7000 Oaks project as part of artstranspennine98, and this has been present on Victoria Gardens outside the Henry Moore Institute since 1998.

This Artist Rooms exhibition introduces his iconic persona, sculptural language and ‘constellations of ideas’ to a new generation. Joseph Beuys changed the look and vocabulary of sculpture forever, and helped put German art back on the map after World War II.  Adopting the roles of political and social activist and educator, Beuys believed in the healing power and the social function of art. He saw creativity as central to all aspects of human existence – declaring that ‘everyone is an artist’.  He believed that art should be a kind of social sculpture with the power to shape the world.

This new exhibition brings together sculpture, drawings and multiples from the 1950s onwards drawn from the Artist Rooms collection, owned jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate, with additional loans from both institutions. These works clearly show the strong scientific basis for his art and his signature use of materials such as felt, fat, wax and copper, which the artist has used for their ability to insulate, protect, transmit and transform.

The Artist Rooms touring programme is delivered by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate in a partnership with Ferens Art Gallery until 2019, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, by Art Fund and by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Artist Rooms Joseph Beuys is accompanied by a programme of activities for young people supported by Art Fund. #ArtistRooms

Image: Beuys, Andres Veiel, 2017

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Wheelchair Access

A large proportion of the Art Gallery is fully accessible. Please contact the venue for full information 0113 245 8256.

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  • Family friendly
  • Wheelchair access
  • Exhibitions
  • Visual Art
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