Joseph Beuys, 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks)
New York City
Joseph Beuys was born in 1921 in Krefeld, Germany. He trained at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1947 to 1951, then taught there as a professor of sculpture from 1961 until 1972. Beuys’s first one-person exhibition of his sculpture and drawings was in 1953, at the house of the collectors Franz Joseph van der Grinten and Hans van der Grinten. In the early 1960s he became involved with the Fluxus group, taking part in concerts and performances and devising his own “actions,” which for a time became his principal aesthetic mode. In 1970 the Beuys Block—a broad group of works belonging to the Karl Ströher collection— was installed in the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt; it remains his most important public collection. Dia held exhibitions of Beuys’s work in 1987, 1992, and 1998, and has planted trees and basalt columns in New York City as part of his 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks), a project he began in 1982 for Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany, with initial funding from Dia Art Foundation. Beuys died in Düsseldorf in 1986.