Joseph Beuys: Sculpture and Early Drawings




Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac will open its new London gallery with an exhibition of Joseph Beuys, bringing together a series of early drawings alongside one of his most import sculptures, highlighting Thaddaeus Ropac’s long-standing relationship to the artist’s oeuvre. The exhibition focuses on the role of the figure in his early works on paper and sculptural practice.

From very early on in his career, Joseph Beuys drew prolifically and spontaneously. Drawing was his principal means of expression. In 1984 he told curator Bernice Rose: ‘Drawing is the first visible form in my works… the changing point from the invisible powers to the visible thing.’ He drew with the wrist, producing light lines that are tense yet delicate. The subjects of the drawings cannot always be read at first glance, with the images seeming to emerge almost accidentally or intuitively. The exhibition centres on the body, both formally and conceptually. Images of animals prevail as well as combinations of the female figure and animal motifs Frau/Tierschadel (Woman/Animal Scull) (1956-57). These depictions can be read as allegories of the unity of humanity and nature.

The sculpture Backrest of a fine-limbed person (hare-type) of the 20th Century AD (1972-1982) will converse with the surrounding drawings. Cast in iron from an original plaster form lined with felt that belonged to the daughter of Joseph Beuys’s neighbour, the artist Gotthard Graubner, this object’s original function was a therapeutic backrest used to support an injured body. By reproducing the backrest in iron, Joseph Beuys rendered it shell-like and strong, enhancing its protective resonance.

Also showing at the gallery are:

Gilbert & George: Drinking Pieces & Video Sculpture 1972-1973

Minimal Art from the Marzona Collection

Oliver Beer: New Performance and Sculpture

Duration 28 April 2017 - 29 July 2017
Times Monday to Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Cost Free
Venue Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Address Ely House, 37 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NJ
Contact 4402038138400 / polly.gaer@ropac.net / www.ropac.net

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