“An exhilarating portrait of a unique truth-teller” (New York Times)
“Objects aren’t very important any more. I want to get to the origin of matter, to the thought behind it,” said German artist Joseph Beuys in the 1960s. Pursuing this rogue philosophy, Beuys placed himself at the nexus between viewer and artwork, through his wildly popular teachings at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and in installations that shunned traditional media for process-oriented materials such as beeswax, animal fat, and felt. And then there were his public “happenings” such as How to Explain Paintings to a Dead Hare, for which the artist plastered himself in honey and gold leaf, a dead hare in his lap, or I Like America and America Likes Me, which entailed locking himself in a room with a coyote. In Beuys, director Andres Veiel mines a rich trove of rare archival footage, bringing back an artist, who, thirty years after his death, continues to exert an outsized influence on artists today.