Tadeusz Kantor, Children at their Desks, 1975. Mixed-media school benches and dummies, 144 x 132 x 260 cm.

Joseph Beuys and Tadeusz Kantor


The Israel Museum

There is strong justification for exhibiting works by Joseph Beuys and Tadeusz Kantor in tandem, since their work shares many features. Both of these 20th-century greats extended the borders of art across a range of media, from actions, happenings, and theater performances to lectures, discussions, and more. And, despite the fact that their backgrounds were so different—one living in Germany, the other in Poland—both drew on myth, personal biography, and the fallibility of memory to produce works alluding to the traumatic European upheavals that took place during their lifetime. The 60 works on view, loaned from major public collections, included paintings, drawings, objects, and installations, as well as films documenting performances and theater pieces. In the case of Beuys, who famously remarked that “to be a teacher is my greatest work of art,” all of this material was very familiar, but it served as a foil to Kantor’s explorations in the field of theatrical space and representation. …see the entire review in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.