Hugh Lane Gallery is marking the centenary of the birth of Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) with a focused exhibition looking at the artist’s relationship to Ireland. The German artist was hugely influential on contemporary art in the second half of the twentieth century. He was innovative in his teaching, in his engagement with social and environmental concerns and his symbolic use of materials. He had a particular interest in the Celtic world and saw Irish myth, literature and landscapes as sources for cultural renewal and healing.
At the centre of this exhibition are the three blackboards that Beuys created in the Hugh Lane Gallery in October 1974. Beuys wrote and drew on the blackboards while giving a lecture during the exhibition of his drawings, The Secret Block for a Secret Person in Ireland.
Beuys remained an inspirational force in Ireland throughout the 1970s and 80s. His work was included in the 1977 Rosc exhibition at the Hugh Lane Gallery, and in Rosc ’84 at the Guinness Visitor Centre.