Joseph Beuys: Drawings after the Codices Madrid of Leonardo da Vinci, and Sculpture

September 10, 1998–June 13, 1999, Dia:Chelsea


In 1974 Joseph Beuys conceived an edition of one thousand sketchbooks inspired by the discovery of two “lost” Leonardo da Vinci sketchbooks in the 1960s. Joseph Beuys: Zeichnungen zu den beiden 1965 wiederentdeckten Skizzenbücher “Codices Madrid” von Leonardo da Vinci (Joseph Beuys: Drawings After the Codices of Madrid of Leonardo da Vinci in 1965) was a unified body of these drawings, exhibited for the first time in 1998. This series of drawings elucidated Beuys’s commitment to affect a marriage between art and science by referencing Leonardo’s Codices Madrid, which for Beuys embodied “the unification of art and natural science.” The artist conducted extensive research on da Vinci’s notebooks in an effort to expand his own practice and reach a wider audience through publication. An edition detailing the exhibition was published in 1999.


Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys was born in Krefeld, Germany, in 1921. He died in Düsseldorf in 1986.

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Photo: Ethan Harrison

Joseph Beuys: Drawings After the Codices Madrid of Leonardo da Vinci

This publication studies and documents the encyclopedic series of drawings by Joseph Beuys.

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