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Joseph Beuys: The Reader Paperback – August 17, 2007

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$23.64 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 17 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Joseph Beuys: The Reader + What Is Art?: Conversation with Joseph Beuys + Joseph Beuys in America: Energy Plan for the Western Man
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Editorial Reviews


...a welcome attempt to give a broad yet nuanced picture of [Beuys'] work and life...good deal of attention paid to Beuys' objects, writings, and actions...which downplays the biographical while striking a balance with the need to keep his self-promotion firmly in mind. It is this sense of equitability that will make this book required Beuys reading for a long time to come and may even help save him from eventual obscurity.


...presents an informative discourse of Beuysian work and 21st century art by addressing issues such as how the current practice of established codes of meaning and iconography fit Beuys' model. In doing so, this reader successfully meets its main aim, which was to reopen an 'international discussion on Joseph Beuys and his work'.

(contemporary (U.K.))

Such a reinvigorated debate seems much needed...The book is well researched and expertly edited, and its compilation clearly springs from the editors' commitment to pointing out Beuys' potential. May it help to keep the legacy of this enigmatic artist alive -- an artist who continues to provoke fascination and bewilderment.

(Journal of Surrealism and the Americas)

About the Author

Claudia Mesch is Assistant Professor at the School of Art, Arizona State University.

Viola Michely is a writer and curator and teaches art and philosophy at the August-Macke School, Bonn.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (August 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262633515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262633512
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Marcos Gonzales on January 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is a much appreciated addition to the available writings on Joseph Beuys. Mesch and Michely have succeeded in providing a context for studying the work of Beuys. This has been an elusive task for any student of Beuys, due to the wide variety of projects that he pursued and the manipulations of his media persona. 'Joseph Beuys: The Reader' is beautifully organized to be very helpful in undertaking the vast difference of opinion of a vast and sometimes seemingly disconnected art practice. The six sections that divide the book each address a central issue concerning Beuys art practice and his relationship to art history. These topical sections, rather than a chronological or biographical organization (which is the norm according to the introduction), allow the reader to much more easily make comparisons and contrasts between the individual essays. As well, each essay offers some of the best writing on Beuys, focusing on his artwork rather than his legend.

This book is a fundamental for any person who is interested in understanding the work (and myth) of Joseph Beuys.
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