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BEUYS+PALERMO

October 12, 2021-January 16, 2022

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) is one of the most important and influential 20th-century artists of the post-World War II era. His practice was not limited to the production of objects (works in traditional media such as painting and sculpture): he interpreted society at large as a sculptural material, and with the motto “True capital is not money, but people’s creativity,” while producing and distributing a series of Multiples (works produced in editions), greatly expanded the conventional scope of artistic activity by holding discussions with members of the public and students, carrying out community actions and so forth, striving for transformation on both a personal and society-wide scale. This exhibition held in 2021, the centenary of his birth, will present not only works in some of Beuys’s distinctive materials such as felt and fat, but also films of his performances termed Actions, his drawings and Multiples, and other works that showcase the impact and innovation of his art.

Beuys is also known for having mentored many important younger artists when teaching at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Among them was Blinky Palermo (1943-1977), featured alongside Beuys in this exhibition. This artist, who died tragically young and is scarcely known in Japan, was born in Leipzig, Germany and learned from Beuys in Düsseldorf. He passed away in 1977 at the young age of 33, but he created compellingly original and enigmatic works during a short career starting in the mid-1960s. While they evoke both early Modernist art and the Minimalism that was a powerful force in the art world at the time, Palermo’s works look extremely modest and personal compared to those of his more grandiose and extroverted contemporaries. However, they read as endeavors to take shapes and colors as ideals and manifest them before his eyes, using humble everyday materials, for direct experience and contemplation. Beuys came to appreciate Palermo, whose work superficially seems diametrically opposed to Beuys’s own, as his closest kindred spirit due to the younger artist’s keen sensitivity to space and his handling of materials. This exhibition is in part a precious opportunity to present Palermo’s work in retrospective form for the first time in Japan.

Beuys sought to engage society directly and transform it through his works of art and Actions. Meanwhile, although tremendously influenced by Beuys, Palermo explored aesthetically delightful formal innovations using readily available materials in a quiet, taciturn manner. Placing these two very different artists side by side, this exhibition showcases the commonalities and contrasts between their artistic practices, and by doing so reveals the aspiration toward Utopian ideals inherent in 20th-century art, investigating relationships between art and our continuously and drastically changing contemporary society, and offering opportunities to reexamine the nature and possibilities of artistic endeavor.

Period
October 12, 2021-January 16, 2022
 

This exhibition has two installations:
Part I: October 12–November 28, 2021
Part II: November 30, 2021–January 16, 2022

Opening Hours

10:00-17:00 (10:00-20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays).
*Last entry 30 minutes before closing.

Closed

Mondays (except Jan. 10) and Dec. 27-Jan. 3, Jan. 11.

  • Organizer: The National Museum of Art, Osaka
  • Support: Goethe-Institut Osaka Kyoto
  • Sponsor: The Daikin Foundation for Contemporary Arts
  • Cooperation: Lufthansa Cargo AG
Admission

Adults: 1,200 (1,000) yen / University students: 700 (600) yen

  • ( )admission for groups of more than 20 people and night discount (applicable after 17:00 on Fri. and Sat.).
  • Admission free for visitors under 18 years old and mentally or physically disabled people with one attendant (proof required).
  • Organizer: The National Museum of Art, Osaka
  • Support: Goethe-Institut Osaka Kyoto
  • Sponsor: The Daikin Foundation for Contemporary Arts
  • Cooperation: Lufthansa Cargo AG
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