Claudia Mesch’s book “Joseph Beuys,” published by Reaktion Books, was released this month. Mesch, a professor in the School of Art, analyses the controversial German artist and aspects of his work that have offended audiences.
Beuys, one of the most important German artists of the late 20th century, was a former soldier in the Third Reich; his art and persona were therefore intertwined with Germany’s fascist past. “In illuminating the centrality of trauma and the sustained investigation of the notion of art as the two defining threads in Beuys's life and art, this book offers a critical biography that deepens our understanding of his many works and their contribution,” according to the publisher’s description. It is distributed in the U.S. by the University of Chicago Press.