Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) connected deeply with how a shaman figure could encourage healing, regeneration and transformation. These themes were particularly potent to Beuys in the wake of World War II, when a deeply wounded society needed to heal and mend itself. He integrated these healing aspects of Shamanism into many of his most profound works of art, which opened up room for spiritual contemplation and conveyed a message of hope and optimism for a new world.
Another aspect of Shamanism adopted by Beuys in his art was a connection with the environment. He believed that in order to instill a new world order we needed to look back to pre-war cultures when people were more in tune with the natural world, and its many healing properties. Through art, intervention and performance, Beuys drew our attention to the ways we should be trying to re-integrate nature back into urban living, in order to reap all the benefits it has to offer.