The eleven showcases by Joseph Beuys contain a variety of small sculptures and objects that are independent works, multiples, and relics of spectacular performances by the artist. At the end of the 1960s, when Beuys was particularly intensely promoting the abolition of traditional art forms such as sculpture and drawing in favor of his expanded concept of art, showcases became one of his preferred artistic means. They proved to be ideal vessels for relating fragments of his multi-part oeuvre to one another in condensed form.
The group of showcases was first exhibited in this constellation in Basel in 1998 under the title Laboratories of the Imagination.
In 2021 - the 100th year of Joseph Beuys' birth - Dr. h.c. Maja Oeri and her sons Hans Emanuel and Melchior Oeri have made an extremely generous gift to the Kunstmuseum Basel: in memory of the artist's early collector and long-time friend Hans U. Bodenmann, the eleven display cases have become a permanent part of the Kunstmuseum's collection.
The eleven showcases and the Basel Beuys collection are on permanent display on the first floor of the Kunstmuseum Basel | Neubau.
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