“extended definition of art”

Mail Art in Wisconsin

Joseph Beuys (May 12, 1921 – January 23, 1986) was a German performance artist, sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist and pedagogue of art.


Joseph Beuys' signature. Photographed from a b...

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His extensive work is grounded in concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy; it culminates in his “extended definition of art” and the idea of social sculpture as a gesamtkunstwerk, for which he claimed a creative, participatory role in shaping society and politics. His career was characterized by passionate, even acrimonious public debate, but he is now regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

Mailart in many respects pushes the boundaries of what can be considered art, it has a surreal or Dada quality about it. Mail art sometimes reaches the mainstream gallery audiences but never really reaches the greater highs. Good mail art would not look out of place next to exhibitions like the  Joseph Beuys exhibition in Cardiff.

Mail art is a worldwide art and music movement that began in the early 1960s. the principle is simple you send visual art (but also music, sound art, poetry, etc.) through the international postal system. Mail Art is sometimes known as Postal Art or Correspondence Art. Mail Art is a network, based on the principles of barter and equal one-to-one collaboration.

After a peak in popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Mail Art phenomenon has gradually migrated to the Internet, whose “social networks” were largely anticipated and predicted by the interactive processes of postal collaborations. Nevertheless, Mail Art is still practiced by a loose planetary community involving thousands of mailartists from the most varied backgrounds.

All my love Marni

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