Joseph Beuys: We Go This Way
Violette Editions (1998)Edited and produced by Robert Violette
Designed by Peter B. Willberg
416 pages, over 400 b/w illustrations
29.7 x 21 cm (11¾ x 8½ in)
HB ISBN: 978-1-900828-13-0
£39.95 / US $65.00 Buy the book
PB ISBN: 978-1-900828-12-3
£29.95 Buy the book
'Biography means more than just a personal thing. It means
the interrelationship of all processes and not the splitting of
life into separate compartments: a wholeness. By biography I understand the development of everything. My personal history is of interest only in so far as I have attempted to use my life and person as a tool, and I think this was from a very early age.'
– Joseph Beuys, from a conversation with Caroline Tisdall, 1978
The working partnership of writer Caroline Tisdall and artist Joseph Beuys was among the twentieth century's most productive relationships between artist and amanuensis. This photographic record documents their wide-ranging travels for Beuys's performances, installations and lectures from the early 1970s
until his death in 1986. It is also the long-awaited follow-up to Tisdall's seminal 1979 book on the artist, which accompanied the exhibition of Beuys's work she curated for the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
This book's title, We Go This Way, refers to a phrase used by Beuys in his work with Tisdall and suggests a way forward through the often daunting complexity of Beuys's philosophy and art. More than 300 of Tisdall's own photographs, most of which are previously unpublished, are accompanied throughout by a text in which Tisdall leads the reader through such diverse topics as Beuys's relationship to ecology, politics, shamanism, alchemy, botany, literature, economics, philosophy and psychology. Her observations on Beuys's art reach a poetic simplicity rarely achieved in art writing
– all the more remarkable given the multi-layered nature of his work.
Joseph Beuys (1921–86) was one of the most important German artists of the twentieth century and a pioneer of performance and conceptual art. In 2005 Tate Modern, London, held a major retrospective of his work.
Caroline Tisdall (b. 1946) has written numerous books on Joseph Beuys. Previously a feature writer for The Guardian, she has also written and directed films 'Joseph Beuys' for BBC2 and 'The Last Post Run' for Channel 4. Professor Tisdall was awarded an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University.