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Beuys, Joseph - Backrest



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys – Dr David Adams

Beuys was not only seeking more spiritually or symbolically meaningful pictures for his art. In fact, he contrasted the merely "retinal" kind of seeing typical today in both visual art and ordinary life with the ability to apprehend a more complete "force constellation in the field of vision," including, for example, the warmth dimension of colours and the spiritual or even sacramental processes active in material substances.

Beuys began to shape his artworks out of the anthroposophical understanding of the spiritual qualities or activities of substances, plants, and animals in nature-not as symbols of these activities but as direct manifestations of them composed into meaningful signs. Beuys's art questioned the belief that we can adequately understand the inner workings of our world through normal modes of perception. He was clear that organs of knowing that are quite different from ordinary logical, analytical thinking must be employed to apprehend the forces at work in material substances, capacities of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition that he had learned about from Steiner's work.

The source of the experience

Beuys, Joseph

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Believing in the spiritual world