Cover for Joseph Beuys: In Defense of Nature
The Broad
Joseph Beuys: In Defense of Nature
A fresh look at Beuys' environmental work and the social change it continues to inspire.
Edited by with text by Andrea Gyorody, Sarah Loyer. Foreword by Joanne Heyler. Text by Lazaro Arvizu Jr., Desiree Martinez, Thaddaeus Ropac, Aaron Thomas, Aradhna Tripati
Designed by Tracey Shiffman and James Ihira, Shiffman & Kohnke
Published 2024 | ISBN: 9781636811505

Grounded in The Broad’s collection of multiples by Joseph Beuys (1921–86), In Defense of Nature centers the German artist’s commitment to environmental justice. The project traces Beuys’ long history of activism, from founding alternative organizations such as the Organization for Direct Democracy to his involvement in Germany’s Green Party. These efforts culminated in Beuys’ last major project, 7,000 Oaks, which involved planting 7,000 trees accompanied by stones throughout the city of Kassel, Germany, from 1982 to 1987. Beuys’ concept inspired Social Forest: Oaks of Tovaangar, a reforestation project in Los Angeles inaugurated as part of the PST ART initiative. With programs that address overlapping issues of environmental justice, reconciliation, and restoration, Social Forest highlights the continued impact of 7,000 Oaks and brings new meaning to Beuys’ legacy four decades later, in a vastly different landscape that equally demands repair.