My favorite Joseph Beuys quotes

To be a teacher is my greatest work of art.

“Every human being is an artist.”

* Beuys’ quote on his art statement: ‘everybody is an artist‚’: I am searching for field character, 1973; as quoted in “Energy Plan for the Western man / Joseph Beuys in America”, by Carin Kuoni, Four Walls Eight Windows in New York, 1993, p. 22

“I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time.”

* source unknown

To be a teacher is my greatest work of art. The rest is the waste product, a demonstration. If you want to express yourself you must present something tangible. But after a while this has only the function of a historic document. Objects aren’t very important any more. I want to get to the origin of matter, to the thought behind it.

* statement from an: interview, Willoughby Sharp, 1969; as quoted in “Energy Plan for the Western man ‚ “Joseph Beuys in America”, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 1993, p. 85

Man is only truly alive when he realizes he is a creative, artistic being…
Even the act of peeling a potato can be a work of art if it is a conscious act.

* his quote on the metaphysical power of art, source: an interview with Willoughby Sharp in 1969; in “Energy Plan for the Western man ‚Äì Joseph Beuys in America ‚Äì”, Four Walls Eight Windows in New York, 1993, p. 87 ( German Fluxus artist, famous for his art performances like ‚ÄòI like America and America likes me‚Äô ‚Äì with a Coyote, ed.)

Man is really not freeing many aspects. He is dependent on his social circumstances, but he is free in his thinking, and here is the point of origin of sculpture. For me the formation of the thought is already sculpture. The thought is sculpture.

* statement on “Man” by Joseph Beuys: an interview W. Sharp, 1969; quoted in “Energy Plan for the Western man “Joseph Beuys in America” and compiled by Carin Kuoni, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 1993, p. 90

This kind of art school (The School of the Art Institute where Beuys gave this lecture, mm) is for me the least important. A spiritual structure is needed. If a person is an artist he can use the most primitive of instruments a broken knife is enough. Otherwise it remains a craft school.

* source of his artist statement on the Art school structure:his lecture in 1974 at the School of the Art Institute of Chigago; quoted in “Energy Plan for the Western man ‚Äì Joseph Beuys in America ‚Äì”, ed. by Carin Kuoni, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 1993, p. 123 ( German Fluxus artist, more biography facts at the bottom)

Quotes pulled from: quotes-famous-artists.org.

I know there are more Joseph Beuys quotes that I would like. I need to read more of his writings. As I find more quotes, I will post them here. If you find any Beuys quotes, you like, please post them in the comments. Thank you.

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