James Lee Byars Briefe an Joseph Beuys

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Edited by: Stiftung Museum Schloss Moyland, Sammlung van der Grinten, Joseph Beuys Archiv des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen Foreword: Franz Joseph van der Grinten Texts by: Viola Michely German, English 2000, 256 Pages, 172 Ills. Hardcover 236mm x 174mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-0939-2

In the course of sixteen years, Joseph Beuys received more than a hundred letters from James Lee Byars, without ever writing back himself. Byars sent a wealth of elaborately designed letters to different people, letters which may well make up the greatest part of his work, but Joseph Beuys was the only colleague with whom Byars corresponded. And quite an unusual exchange of letters it is, enthralling readers by their extreme fragility and immense variety of materials, forms and ideas. His letters are not written with the purpose in mind of receiving an answer, rather, they constituted his day-to-day artistic routine.ì In contrast to works in the fine arts and literature, a letter as a work of art postulates an immediate addressee and yet his absence. In an effort to effect a contact transcending the transitory, the everyday and even the physical presence, Byars' letters revolutionized traditional structures of ownership and forms of existence in the arts. The complete set of letters reproduced in this publication contains reflections on Byars' own works and those of Beuys, about creative process and its counterpart, death.