The exhibition »Intuition! Dimensions of the early work of Joseph Beuys 1946–1961« examines the period between Joseph Beuys’s return to Kleve after the war at the age of twenty-four and his appointment as a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1961.
During this »incubation period«, themes relevant to his future work emerged and a series of three-dimensional essays on these themes now provides a framework for the exhibition: 1. Biography as material for artistic forming, 2. Kindred spirits (Lohengrin, Cloots, Steiner, Lehmbruck), 3. Early companions (Lamers, Getlinger, Mataré), 4. Christian influences and eurasian horizons, 5. Depictions of animals: from elementary experiences to the body politic, 6. Self-image – image – action, 7. Universalist thinking today?
The aim of the exhibition is neither to venerate a local saint nor to topple an artist from an earlier generation. Instead it highlights the influences, ideas and caesuras that saw Beuys develop from a »sensitive traditionalist« into a »visionary social sculptor«.