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The Press on Beuys and Beyond in Buenos Aires
Wangechi Mutu at the Deutsche Guggenheim

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"Imaginary Dialogues"
The Press on Beuys and Beyond


The show "Beuys and Beyond-Teaching as Art" juxtaposes works by Joseph Beuys and his students from the Deutsche Bank Collection with selected works by contemporary artists from Latin America. During its guest appearance in Buenos Aires, the exhibition met with an overwhelmingly positive response on the part of the public and the press.


"Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was for Germany-and maybe for all of Western Europe-what Andy Warhol was for the United States: the lighthouse artist, the one who shed light upon the contemporary art of the last half century. But unlike Warhol, Beuys is not a truly popular artist." This statement by Daniel Molina in the daily paper La Nación did not hold true, at least in terms of the great rush to see Beuys and Beyond: during the six weeks of the show, over 75,000 visitors flocked to the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires. The exhibition, which presents works by Joseph Beuys and his students in dialogue with contemporary Argentinean art, turned out to be a real success with the public. In his review, Molina summarizes it thus: "To juxtapose diverse works of so many artists has an extraordinary and complex effect. It is an exhibition that demands visitors spend time on the art in detail, to enjoy the dialogues between the various works and to discover the counterpoints involved." In the same newspaper Daniel Sander remarks on the show's concept: "What makes the exhibition so fascinating is the idea of exhibiting works by Pablo Siquier, one of the most recognized Argentinean contemporary artists, together with works by his students. In this way, two artistic worlds become visible, as well as two times: modern classics from Germany and future classics from Argentina."

La Prensa views the show as "an imaginary dialogue of artists of diverse places, times, and generations" that visualizes "the different manifestations of teaching as an extension of artistic practice. (…) The exhibition resurrects the spirit of Beuys as well as his belief that art is capable of transforming society." On the other hand, Ana Maria Battistozzi of Clarin is not entirely convinced: "The pedagogical radicalism that the show attempts to present is not easy to detect." In Perfil, Claudio Iglesias comes to the following conclusion about Beuys and Beyond: "Two of the virtues of Beuys and Beyond are a good use of the idea that in art everything can be related to everything else, and its solution of the typical problems of traveling exhibitions (i.e. lack of relationship to the local context, standardized presentation, and a traveling circus attitude)."




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