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German sculptor, draughtsman, *Performance artist, and teacher, one of the leading figures in art in Europe from the 1960s to the 1980s, and central to debates about the role of the artist in the political sphere. Beuys was born in Krefeld and spent most of his early life in or near Kleve. He had intended being a paediatrician, but because of the outbreak of the Second World War he went virtually straight from school into the German air force.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)