Tribute to Joseph Beuys

Tribute to Joseph Beuys, a pioneer of conceptual art, political activist, professor of art and a controversial figure who used felt extensively in his works. His work „Felt Suit“ (1970) is a cross between a man‘s suit and a sculpture, made of felt and claimed to possess magic protective qualities. The work was inspired by an unconfirmed wartime account when Beuys suffered an air crash and his life was saved by nomadic Crimean Tatars, who had wrapped his broken body in animal fat and felt, and nursed him back to health. Fat and felt became a sort of trademark of Beuys‘, the autograph of a man who was fond of using uncommon and provocative materials in his works.

Today felt has become a well-stablished means of expression in textile art, along with other numerous textile techniques. Divisions between clearly defined disciplines of art have been eroding, and a piece made of felt no longer belongs to the world of textile but is rather a piece of contemporary art in the broader sense. Tribute 1 is meant as my artistic reply to Joseph Beuys and his works, an allusion to a union of two people who are linked by their fondness of felt.

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