In Joseph Beuys (F. & S. II.245), Andy Warhol features the contemporary artist Joseph Beuys in headshot. This image is printed in white with diamond dust on Arches Cover Black paper—its uniqueness is highlighted in its smaller edition size of 90. Warhol produced this signed print in 1980 from a single polaroid photograph he shot in 1979. In this image in particular, Beuys’ piercing eyes, wispy brows, and glowing hat catch the viewers attention. This edition takes a less-vibrant tone than Warhol’s characteristic bright colour palettes, which Sir Norman Rosenthal suggests might reflect a nod to Beuys’ own work.
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) dominated the European art world of the 20th century as an artist, theorist, and activist. Beuys was particularly known for his happenings and performance art, as well as his art activism at Documenta 7, the regular exhibition of contemporary art in Kassel, Germany. Although Beuys interest in environmental activism and shamanism diverged from Warhol’s interest in consumer culture and celebrity, the two artists maintained a mutual respect for each other’s work and careers.