Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was born in Krefeld in northwest Germany. He was among the most influential visual artists in postwar Europe and America. With his work, Beuys transgressed conventional limits and gave art a more active social role. Beuys witnessed and participated in historical events that shook the 20th century and at the same time, created for himself the persona of an activist artist. Through a dialectic with Fluxus and the Romantics, Beuys formed his concept of Social Sculpture, according to which all of society can be perceived as a huge work of art. Joseph Beuys was a pacifist, an advocate for environmental issues, and a political activist. He was a founding member of the “Organization for Immediate Democracy through Referendum”, the “Free International University of Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research” and the Party of the Greens.