Joseph Beuys - Kettenglied zum Büdericher Kreuz
Kettenglied zum Büdericher Kreuz
Wrought iron. 69.5 x 14 x 5 cm.
In 1955, around ten years after his return from the war, his wounding and captivity, Joseph Beuys was asked by the municipality of Büderich for a concept sketch for a memorial to honour those who died in both world wars. In 1957 he received the contract to complete the work.
In its final form, the memorial consists of a tower and double doors with heavy ironwork. On the inside of the tower is a 'Resurrection Symbol' which hangs on a bar chain, forming a compelling unity with the resurrection symbol. Nine flat, wrought-iron rod elements are combined in an unusually free, but also fixed manner, by means of strong nails.
The present work 'Kettenglied' is a conceptual part of the Büderich Memorial. It singles out the main element of the overall work and illustrates how important the rejection of conventional chain constructions was to Joseph Beuys, and how much he was interested in developing a particular solution to justify the importance of the work in detail and as a whole.
It can be assumed that Joseph Beuys made the bar chain as well as the iron fittings of the double doors and the breastplate of the resurrection symbol in his cousin's forge in Spellen. The present work is therefore a unique piece.
According to the Aachen catalogue from 1995, the present work was forged by Joseph Beuys himself.
Private collection, Rhineland
Kleve 1991 (Städtisches Museum Haus Koekkoek), Joseph Beuys, exhib.cat.no.91, p.81 with illus. (with erroneous dimensions)
Aachen 1985 (Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum), Ratingen 1986 (Stadtmuseum), Kreuz und Zeichen, Religiöse Grundlagen im Werk von Josepf Beuys, exhib.cat.no.19, p.68 with illus.81 (with erroneous dimensions)