Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys

National Gallery of Canada

December 7, 2015

Joseph Beuys
December 1, 2015–November 27, 2017

National Gallery of Canada
Galleries B206 and B207
Ottawa, Ontario
Twitter / #BeuysNGC

The National Gallery of Canada is presenting work by Joseph Beuys (1921–86) in a special two-year installation. Featuring more than 20 major sculptures and a selection of works on paper, the exhibition includes such seminal works as Torso (1949/51), Pt Co Fe (1948–72), and Hasengrab (1964/79), drawing from two important private collections—including that of Céline and Heiner Bastian of Berlin. These sculptures span four decades of the artist’s practice, beginning with early work influenced by the German sculptors Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Ewald Mataré, through sculpture of the 1970s and 80s, achieving an incomparable formal and material vocabulary.

Among the most significant postwar German artists, Beuys had a lasting influence on a group of young Canadian artists when he was invited by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), Halifax, to give an artist talk in May 1976. Invited by Garry Neill Kennedy and Kasper Koenig, Heiner Bastian accompanied Beuys for the weekend, during which he produced a blackboard drawing. The drawing was later donated by Beuys to the College and subsequently purchased by the Art Gallery of Ontario, thus establishing the Joseph Beuys Memorial Scholarship at NSCAD. At the time, he had hoped for an exhibition of his work in Canada, but one was not realized before his death in 1986. His first visit to North America, incidentally, had been in October 1970 to attend NSCAD’s Halifax Conference.

About Céline and Heiner Bastian
Long associated with Joseph Beuys, Heiner Bastian served as the artist’s early assistant, and since his death in 1986 has written extensively on the artist and organized a number of exhibitions of Beuys’ work. Sculptures by Beuys from their collection have previously been on long-term loan to the Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum for Contemporary art, Berlin and, more recently, at Galerie Bastian, Berlin. Housed in a David Chipperfield building on Am Kupfergraben, Galerie Bastian (est. 2007) has presented exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, including that of Dan Flavin, Andy Warhol, Damian Hirst, Anselm Kiefer and Cy Twombly. For more information, visit

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter.

For all media enquiries, please contact: 
Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public Relations Officer National Gallery of Canada
T 1 613 990 6835 / bmallet [​at​]

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