Joseph Beuys - Review
By Jackie Wullschläger
How has the art of Joseph Beuys — activist, mystic, romantic, sculptor of fat and felt — endured without his own charismatic, hectoring presence? Beuys died in 1986 and it was an inspired move of Dresden’s Staatliche Kunstsammlungen to celebrate the centenary of his birth two years ago not with heavyweight sculptures but, in Joseph Beuys: 40 Years of Drawing, with rare, eclectic drawings — on paper, beer mats, a cigarette pack, plants. A tiny bear is ink-brushed on to a shrivelled hazel leaf, a pencil sketch of a deer hoof leaps out on a page from a spiral notebook and a fragmented arabesque nude, curvy torso and legs flecked with blue blots of flowers, emulates the patterned poise of late Matisse.