In conversations and interviews Joseph Beuys mentioned Marcel Duchamp more than any other artist. And hardly anyone else seems to have challenged him more than this artist from the previous generation. Direct evidence of this is his oft-cited action Das Schweigen von Marcel Duchamp wird überbewertet (The Silence of Marcel Duchamp is Overrated) from 1964, through which Beuys attempted to shift focus onto the political and social dimensions of his concept of expanded art. The associations and connections between the artists go deep. Both used similar radical strategies to rejuvenate the concept of art and the role of art in everyday life; their questions had a number of aspects in common. This richly illustrated catalogue is the first to undertake a profound exploration of this multilayered relationship, while investigating both artists’ future-oriented potential.
MARCEL DUCHAMP (1887–1968) was one of modernism’s most influential artists. From 1913 on, his readymades, objects, installations, and word games radically questioned the common concept of art.
JOSEPH BEUYS (1921–1986) fundamentally altered art after 1960 in his many roles as a draftsman, sculptor, performance and installation artist, teacher, politician, and activist. At the center of his concept of expanded art and the universal work of art is the vision of changing society.