Considering Joseph Beuys


How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare

My interest in the work of Joseph Beuys runs parallel to my introduction to many of the people active in the American Arts section of the Anthroposophical Society in America, early in this century. While attending grad school, I made Beuys the topic of one of my art history term papers. I sent the paper to someone in the arts section and was understandably rebuked for not having researched properly,  among other things. I had not had access to or time to read what had been written about Beuys from within the Anthroposophical movement except minimally.  It was also inferred that my own artistic endeavors involving the manifestation of Anthroposophy was more important than my weak critical analysis. This too was right, which I tried to do, in my small way, in the thesis work I produced at the time.

Never the less, I think it might be of interest to some, especially those unfamiliar with the esoteric roots of Beuys work. It may serve as a basic introduction, pointing out, but with limited esoteric content.

For any that might question my closing assessment of Beuys work in this paper and to avoid misunderstanding in general, It is not meant as a condemnation but as an empathetic gesture; I owe Beuys a lot; If the artistic path is not a path to freedom, then what is it?

Here is the link:

Esoteric Foundations of Joseph Beuys’ Art in the Teachings of Rudolf Steiner

Note: The above file is compiled from scanned pages, due to my poor typing skills and for the sake of expediency.  Consequently, paradoxically and unfortunately, I was unable to edit out the typos and the grading marks.

Hilma af Klint

I have decided to retire the Hilma af Klint page for a while for various reasons until I can adequately access the works and make sure the images are in the public domain. Until then here is a link to the Google search for her work: Hilma af Klint.

Harold Christian Friedly

I have not posted anything since last summer due to a rigorous teaching schedule in South Texas that has taken up most of my time. Finally there is a moment for including the work of Harold Christian Friedly. I have had images from Mr. Friedly for a while and wanted to include them on this site.The images below have been published  in the Art section Journal  about  a decade ago. When I tried to get permission from him I learned of his death. If anyone knows any reason  I shouldn’t include them now let me know. I met Harold Christian Friedly at the American Art Section Conference held in Denver, the summer of 2003. He befriended me there and related many interesting stories, some personal and some about Rudolph Steiner and Anthropposophy. Among other things, he introduced me to a book containing Steiner’s Caricatures. The following are from a series of paintings by Mr. Friedly entitled: Metamorphosis of a Soul.

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PDF FILE of a Soul.

Anthroposophically Inspired Artists

I  am  sure it has been posted for a while, but I just found several Anthroposophically inspired artists, prominent in the history of 20th century art, listed at the Rudolf Steiner Archives. It is interesting to see Cy Twombly and Jackson Pollock listed. I would like to add Pousette Dart. He was one of the original Abstract Expressionists. I was fortunate to see his retrospective, just before his death, at the Columbus Museum in Columbus GA, and noticed in the exhibition literature Rudolf Steiner mentioned.

Statement of Purpose

     Welcome to Anthroposophy and Art. I am beginning this as an ongoing project for the purpose of presenting Anthroposophical art, Anthroposophical topics in art, and discussing, viewing, and creating art from an Anthroposophical perspective. This will include philosophical, spiritual, and material topics, with indications and examples of theory and practice, as well as images of artists’ work. I also intend to include Anthroposophical art in historical context.

    One area I would like to include, that I hope will be of use, is information and resources for materials, processes, and techniques, In other words, the realm of artistic practice.

     Another important intended purpose of this site is to give artists interested in the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, in art as a spiritual practice, or in art from a spiritual perspective, suggested resources and inspiration.

     Relevant suggestions, links, images, and articles are welcome. Please pass this site on and consider contributing to make this site better!

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Stephen Hawks