When an exceptional artist continues one of the great novels of the century, it does make one sit up and take notice. Probably produced between 1957 and 1961, ‘Joseph Beuys Extends Ulysses by Six Further Chapters on Behalf of James Joyce’ comprises six DIN A5 format notebooks with 750 pages and 355 drawings in pencil and watercolour. Beuys personally had the first two notebooks bound for presentation purposes; notebooks 3, 4, 5 and 6 are, by contrast, still in their original condition. All six notebooks have been part of the collection of the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt since 1996.

To mark the occasion of Joseph Beuys's (1921–1986) 100th birthday, the six notebooks will be presented for the first time in both analogue and digital form. In ‘Joseph Beuys. Ulysses’, the immense potential of Beuys's artistic ideas and energies, previously concealed between the closed covers of the six black notebooks, will be accessible to everyone. Thanks to a digitally interactive animation based on state-of-the-art scanning processes, visitors can, for example, turn the pages and zoom their way through all of the notebooks as if they were taking a walk among Beuys's drawings and peering into the artist's mind.

The exhibition is also concerned with the author James Joyce (1882–1941) and his Ulysses manuscript, which was published in book form in 1922, particularly the genesis of his multi-step writing process. The novel's nonlinear flow of language reflects the stream of consciousness of its protagonists with all their varied associations, scraps of memory, and perceptions. Without being narratively unravelled, dozens of themes can shoot up anywhere as intertwined clusters of motifs in shifting accents and dynamics.

 ‘Joseph Beuys. Ulysses’ offers visitors the unique opportunity to trace the cosmos conceived by Beuys and realized in his six booklets with reference to James Joyce and his novel Ulysses.

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Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt
Karl Freund-Galerie
Friedensplatz 1
64283 Darmstadt


Dr. Mechthild Haas
T 06151 3601-250


30 June until 31 October 2021

In cooperation with


With friendly support of