In 2021, the 100th birthday of Joseph Beuys, one of the most important action artists of the 20th century, will be commemorated with a whole host of exhibitions and events. ‘beuys 2021. 100 years of joseph beuys’ will also take place in Duisburg.
The artist Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881–1919) from Meiderich is the link between Duisburg and Joseph Beuys. In 1986, 11 days before his death, Beuys was awarded the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize of the city of Duisburg. In his acceptance speech, Beuys identified Lehmbruck as his ‘teacher’. A photo of one of Lehmbruck’s works sparked a desire to work with sculpture in the 17-year-old Beuys.
Under the title ‘Everything is Sculpture’, the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg is commemorating two of the most important artists of the 20th century with an exhibition. There is an attractive ‘Beuys meets Lehmbruck’ package for a weekend trip to Duisburg in combination with a visit to the exhibition.
‘Everything is Sculpture’ at the Lehmbruck Museum
The Lehmbruck Museum presents a unique collection of modern sculpture in one of the most impressive museum buildings of the post-war period. With the work of Wilhelm Lehmbruck as a starting point, primitivism and cubism, abstraction and expressionism and constructivism and minimalism are brought together here.
The museum places the works of Beuys in the context of his ‘teacher’, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, with the exhibition ‘Everything is Sculpture’ (26 June to 17 October). ‘Why was it possible for a person – after I had got my hands on a very small fragment of his work, even only in the form of a photograph – to make the final decision in me to approach sculpture?’ Beuys asked a few days before his death in his famous acceptance speech on receiving the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize.
‘Everything is sculpture, this picture seemed to call out to me.’ This is the maxim of the exhibition which shows the extraordinary connection between two of the most important German artists of the last century. With the impulses of Lehmbruck, Beuys dedicated himself to his social sculpture, an idea with which he revolutionised the art of the 20th century.
MKM Museum Küppersmühle – one of the leading art museums in the Ruhr metropolitan region
A visit to the MKM Museum Küppersmühle begins not inside, but outside the building. The former warehouse building with its listed brick facade was transformed into a modern building for culture with a spectacular staircase tower by renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron from Switzerland. Visitors can also feel the shift from industry to modernity inside the building: in the White Cube, the works of contemporary stars of modern art such as Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter are presented alongside one another. Together with the Ströher Collection – one of the most important collections of German post-war art in the world – and a varied exhibition programme, the building in Duisburg’s lively Inner Harbour area is one of the leading art museums in the Ruhr metropolitan region.
The reopening of the museum including the new extension is planned for autumn 2021.
Our travel package
Beuys & Bike in Duisburg
Follow Beuys’ tracks through Duisburg by bike through the Ruhrort harbour district, to the inner harbour with Museum Küppersmühle and the Lehmbruck Museum with its sculpture park and approach the artist while getting to know beautiful spots in the city on the Rhine and Ruhr rivers.