Beuys in Düsseldorf #1

100 years Joseph Beuys


Drakeplatz 4 - Beuys' residential studio

Anyone traveling in Düsseldorf automatically follows in the footsteps of Joseph Beuys. The world artist led a public life in the city, his paths and places are well documented. Even today, it's easy to imagine the man in the hat and fishing vest cycling through his neighborhood of Oberkassel. The former living and working studio at Drakeplatz is currently for sale. Estimated price: 3 to 4.5 million euros. Gerrit Terstiege visited Oberkassel for us and described the myth of Drakeplatz 4.

There is a very special address in the Oberkassel district of Düsseldorf, which is popular with artists and creative people. It is simply Drakeplatz 4, but it is undoubtedly a mythical place - because Joseph Beuys' residential studio was hidden here behind a heavy, gate-like wooden door. For a quarter of a century, from 1961 until his death in 1986, one of the most important artists of the 20th century lived and worked here. And visiting this place - even though its rooms with their former leather-covered floors are not open to visitors - fills Beuys fans from all over the world with awe. Precisely because walking through the almost idyllic neighborhood, characterized by medium-high old buildings, communicates in a very comprehensible way how this place, these streets must have influenced and inspired the painter and sculptor.

It is the closeness typical of Düsseldorf that can be experienced here.

The small Drakeplatz still radiates something sheltered, something peaceful. At the same time, when you visit, you understand the very personal, urban topography in which Beuys moved for a long time: In a few minutes' walk, one reaches the pulsating Luegallee, which leads straight to the Oberkassler Bridge. It not only offers an incredibly beautiful view over the skyline of the Rhine metropolis, but also leads directly to Beuys' place of work: the world-famous art academy. It is this proximity, so typical of Düsseldorf, that can be experienced here.

Those who have understood the artist's message will see Drake Square with different eyes.

Without question: Joseph Beuys' work is very much about the storage, transformation and transmission of energy. Materials such as felt, grease, wood and honey, but also copper and brass, are charged with a power in his work that is not to be sought in the purely physical and factual. His famous dictum "Everyone is an artist" - this also means: society becomes a formable, social sculpture. Beuys is concerned precisely with such energies and processes. About transformation.

Anyone who has understood this fundamental message of the artist will also see Drakeplatz with different eyes. For its history will always be closely linked to the person of Beuys - and the house with the number 4 is today itself transformed and a mysterious repository of all those stories and legends that entwine around the man with the fedora. It was here that many of his ideas took shape: The house became the stage for countless artists' meetings and discussions. Beuys deliberately made it an "open house" because he was open to many currents. Anyone who has been here will never forget this place.

Text: Gerrit Terstiege

Gerrit Terstiege writes for magazines like art, Monopol or Mint and always enjoys writing about art and music from Düsseldorf.

Photos: Düsseldorf Tourism

You can find more about Beuys on our website.

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