Joseph Beuys – The Multiples
Thanks to the Beuys-Foundation Ulbricht, which was integrated into the Kunstmuseum’s collections in the mid-1980s, the Museum disposes over an extensive collection of Multiples by Joseph Beuys. Supplemented by purchases in later years, the collection today consists of a good 450 objects, postcards, printed graphics, posters, videos, records, etc. which were all made between 1965 and 1986, the year Joseph Beuys died.
Extremely diverse in nature with respect to the media used, the Multiples reflect in a complex manner the entire work, with which they are closely connected in terms of content and form. Sometimes they bear relevance to the early drawings or spectacular actions of the artist, sometimes however, they suffuse the artist’s thoughts with a specific pictorial form – such as is the case, for example with the Capri-Battery. Seen as a whole, the works outline the panorama of his creations and in doing so, confirm his statement If you have all of my Multiples, then you have all of me. Even though this is doubtlessly true, still the significance of the Multiples extends even further. As reasonably priced objects issued in a certain limited edition, they served the purpose of carrying his thoughts and actions out into society and to allow them to become effective there. Thus, the Multiples may be understood as homeopathic doses, which aimed to serve the rehabilitation and the healing of what in Beuys’s view, was the sick body of society.