Joseph Beuys: 40 Years of Drawing, 19 Jan 2023 — 22 Mar 2023

Joseph Beuys: 40 Years of Drawing

Presenting almost 100 works on paper from the Joseph Beuys family for the first time in the UK, Joseph Beuys: 40 Years of Drawing is the first major exhibition dedicated solely to the artist’s drawings to take place in London for 20 years.

Thaddaeus Ropac London, Ely House, 37 Dover St, London W1S 4NJ, UK

The drawings on view span the four decades of Beuys’s creative output; from the early representational works of the 1940s and 1950s to the conceptual sketches created from the mid-1960s that reflect the radical shift in his practice when drawings became integral devices related to the performances and sculptures he produced in the 1970s and 1980s.

Joseph Beuys: 40 Years of Drawing explores the evolving role of drawing across the artist’s long period of artistic creation, beginning in the mid1940s when he enrolled at the prestigious Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and concluding with works made just before his death in 1986.

Executed in diverse mediums – including pencil, watercolour, collaged organic matter and the artist’s signature rust-brown pigment, Braunkreuz – the group of drawings presented in the exhibition exemplifies Beuys’s employment of nontraditional materials in his artmaking. Crucially, Beuys did not conceive of his works on paper as studies or preparatory material for projects in other mediums. Instead, he experienced the physical act of drawing as the primary means through which to crystallise his conceptual thinking.

Contacts & Details

Tue – Sat 10am – 6pm


T: +44 20 3813 8400

Thaddaeus Ropac London, Ely House, 37 Dover St, London W1S 4NJ, UK

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