Joseph Beuys x 1000
Curated by Richard Demarco & Robert McDowell
Joseph Beuys, one of the great artistic geniuses of the 20th century died in 1986, thirty years ago. To this day he is exhibited more than any living artist and there continue to be hundreds of exhibitions dedicated to featuring Beuys across the world.
Richard Demarco introduced Joseph Beuys and many others of the international avant garde to Scotland. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Demarco Gallery, an appropriate time at which to celebrate Richard Demarco and his artistic collaborations, friendships and critical dialogues through exhibitions which also acknowledge the 40th anniversary of Edinburgh Arts (exploration programme) and the 25th anniversary of the Demarco European
Art Foundation, based at Summerhall.
Across the UK this year there are several exhibitions celebrating the legacy of Joseph Beuys. These include The Tate’s exhibition of sculptures and vitrines and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art presentation of drawings, photographs and other works highlighting the unique collaboration between Demarco and Beuys.
At Summerhall we are delighted to be extending that exhibition with much more in six Gallery rooms including hundreds of photographs, multiples, facsimiles, films and research material. Beuys’s last work in Edinburgh was The Poor House Doors – New Beginnings are in the Offing (1981) assisted by Demarco, and Scottish artists George Wyllie and Dawson Murray. The piece is now housed in the Monchengladbach’s Stadtisches Museum and will be referenced in the Summerhall programme.
When in Scotland Beuys also worked closely with critic and art historian Caroline Tisdall and Robert McDowell, the founder of Summerhall. Indeed Summerhall is inspired by Joseph Beuys and Heinrich Boll’s concept of a Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research so, in many ways, the building itself is a testament to the ideas of one of the world’s most important artists.