Photo of the Week: Joseph Beuys

Photo of the Week - 05.09.14
By Suzanne Buljan

 

Artist Joseph Beuys (b. 1921, Germany) This is an image showing Beuys's 1974 'action' I Like America and America Likes Me. The 'action' began as soon as the artist landed in America. Swathed in felt at the airport, Beuys was driven in an ambulance to René Block's Manhattan gallery. He spent three days in the gallery space also occupied by a wild coyote (an animal sacred to Indigenous Americans), before being driven straight back to the airport and flown home, never having set foot on outside American soil. Beuys spent his time with the coyote in the small room, with little more than a felt blanket and a pile of straw. Making his statement on contemporary America, Beuys would make two piles of the current Wall Street Journal. Each day the pile of newspapers would be duly torn or urinated on by the coyote. 

Beuys is represented by Gagosian Gallery

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Image: Joseph Beuys, 'action' documentation, I Like America and America Likes Me. © Caroline Tisdall 1974, courtesy the artist