In January 1978, photographer Gerd Ludwig and journalist Peter Sager went on a journey to the Lower Rhine with Joseph Beuys. It lead them back to Beuys’ origins, back to his roots, to the city near the Lower Rhine in which it all began.
18 images, including many never before published, are now on display at the Kurhaus in Kleve, Germany through January 13th, 2013. A fine art edition of 15 images is available exclusively through the museum and a book will be announced shortly. Please contact the studio for availability.
Gerd Ludwig captured Joseph Beuys as he was reconnecting with his past in an impressive way. Some of the photos he produced were published in the German “Zeit-Magazin” in April 1978, accompanied by an essay written by Peter Sager. However, a corpus of work remained unpublished and unseen by the public up to this day.
To Beuys, it was a “view back into the landscape,” as Sager wrote. He went trough Kleve’s Lower Rhine landscape with a low horizon and high skies. “This is his landscape, very simple and with depth, sparse, like his works”. Beuys visited places of his childhood and youth, like his former school, now called “Freiherr-vom-Stein Gymnasium” in Kleve. There he discussed art with the students, as well as the “meaning of life,” as Sager says. Castle Gnadenthal was the last stop of his journey. It is the place where Anacharsis Cloots, who was nicknamed “orator of mankind” and whose work served as an important inspiration for Beuys, was born in 1755. Symbolically, Beuys is holding Cloots biography in his own hands.