ART: PRIVATE VIEW

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The Independent Culture
Joseph Beuys to 2 May

Tate Modern, London SE1

Joseph Beuys considered pursuing a career as a scientist before becoming an artist. However, he didn't simply ditch his interest in how things work, instead it significantly informed his approach to art. For example, he was fascinated by the generation, storage and transmission of energy, and considered it to be central to the creative process.

From the late 1940s to the early 1960s Beuys produced hundreds of drawings and small sculptures, but came to international attention as a result of his "actions". These took place in galleries and lasted several hours and sometimes days. He believed in the radicalising power of education, and often drew on a blackboard as he talked to his "audiences".

Tate Modern's exhibition of Beuys's work - entitled Vitrines, Actions, Environments - includes his vitrines, effectively miniature installations, built from a variety of materials and objects; his larger sculptures; and the paraphernalia of a lecture he gave at the Tate in 1972. A restless and thoughtful presence, Beuys remains one of the most influential German artists of the 20th century.

Tate Modern, Bankside, Holland Street, London SE1 (020-7887 8000) to 2 May

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