I’ll admit, this is a bit unusual for me, but today I went to see the Joseph Beuys exhibit “Parallel Processes” in Düsseldorf. Despite the fact that Beuys had a lasting impact not just on the Düsseldorf art scene but way beyond, I have been blatantly ignorant about him and his work. So when my employer organized free tours of the exhibit I figured this would be good way to get to know more about a kind of art that until then I had found very hard to approach, let alone enjoy.
Has that changed after seeing the exhibit? A bit. Sure, some things are still just plain weird, such as a music stand with bits of sauerkraut hung over it (see this picture). But having a guide explain the story behind the different pieces was very helpful in getting the most out of them. It was also interesting to see his fascination with certain materials such as copper, felt and fat that played a recurring role in his work and seem to give it a theme. While none of his works are beautiful in a classic sense, some do have a certain appeal to them, and some of his drawings I could even imagine having hanging on my wall (if I had an decent place to hang them).
The tour was only ninety minutes so it didn’t cover the majority of the exhibit, but I think I might be going again before it ends 16 Jan 2011. It’s definitely worth a visit even if you’re like me and not normally into art.