Joseph Beuys: Sand Drawings

9/21/2012-12/9/12
Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery

Joseph Beuys and Charles Wilp, from the Sand Drawings portfolio.

Joseph Beuys and Charles Wilp, Untitled, from the portfolio Sand Drawings (Sandzeichnungen), 1978, offset lithograph. Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University Library. Beuys: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Wilp: bpk, Berlin / Charles Wilp / Art Resource, NY.

Joseph Beuys was one of the most radical artists of the 20th century and a prominent spokesperson of postwar German art. He made actions, sculptures, and multiples, professing that art should be a way of life. In December 1974, Beuys traveled to Diani Beach on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya with friend and photographer Charles Wilp. Beuys drew his distinctive motifs, such as animals and alchemical symbols, in the sand and inscribed the drawings with his characteristic signature. Wilp documented these temporal artworks which were later compiled into the portfolio Sandzeichnungen. The exhibition Joseph Beuys: Sand Drawings presents the portfolio in its entirety and features a rare and poetic insight into Beuys’s spiritual and aesthetic connection to nature inspired by spending the winter solstice south of the equator.

The portfolio Sandzeichnungen is displayed courtesy of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University Library. Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Endowment, Evanston Arts Council, and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.