The main exhibition in the anniversary year Beuys 2021 will, for the first time, juxtapose the work of Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) with that of the French-American object artist and pioneer of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968). Beuys repeatedly referred to the work of his “challenger” Duchamp, as in 1964 in the famous action The Silence of Marcel Duchamp is Overrated. Duchamp, the ironic skeptic, and Beuys, the society-changing visionary – although these charismatic artistic personalities shaped the art of the twentieth century as quasi antagonists, the references and connections between them reach much deeper and, despite all their differences, reveal a multitude of affinities. The forward-looking potential of their respec-tive radical and interdisciplinary strategies will be reexamined from a contemporary perspective. The dialog between the two protagonists in particular raises fundamental questions about the role of art in everyday life and society.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive, richly illustrated catalog (German/English).
The project is part of the anniversary year beuys 2021 in North Rhine-Westphalia; scholarly support is being provided by Antje von Graevenitz, Hans Dickel and Katharina Neuburger.
Curators: Magdalena Holzhey, Curator of Collections, Kunstmuseen Krefeld, and Kornelia Röder, Duchamp Research Centre, Schwerin