BEUYS LAND is the first book to place the Lower Rhine natural landscape and Beuys’ (supposed) birthplace Kleve at the center of Beuys’ cosmos. In January 1978, photographer Gerd Ludwig captured in an impressive way how Beuys approached his past – in the city of Kleve and its Lower Rhine surroundings. There, where everything began for Joseph Beuys. The photographs Gerd Ludwig collected here show Beuys primarily in the typical landscape between dykes, scour holes, avenues and the local people. Here one senses how the Beuysian concept of art and his landscape are mutually dependent in their barrenness.
In dialogue with Ludwig’s photographs, cultural scientist Frank Mehring shows how Beuys drew his energy from the roots of the Lower Rhine, sharpened his ecological awareness, and developed the artistic vitality that catapulted him to the top of the international art world.