Richard Demarco and Joseph Beuys
An art world friendship under a Scottish sky
This article is from 2011.
A single rose can make a garden; a single friend can make a world. Writer, artist and philosopher Richard Demarco’s friendship with the humanistic artist Joseph Beuys was something special. These two passionate, occasionally obtuse men were drawn to each other like moths to light. ‘When shall we meet again?’ Demarco would ask of Beuys on parting. ‘When the hurly burly’s done, when the battle’s fought and won,’ Beuys would reply, revealing his knowledge of the Scottish play. Anyone who has the privilege of being allowed to visit Demarco’s archive at Skate Raw can witness the mountains of Beuys in Scotland-related ephemera Demarco has collated and here he allows some of it into a more public arena alongside some of his own sketches and paintings. It makes for a suitably Celtic juxtaposition.
Demarco’s lovely sketches and paintings of Scottish and Italian landscapes (with their hints of the righteous influences of Piper and Chagall) serve to link Beuys’ best-known work in Scotland – the Celtic Kinloch Rannoch: The Scottish Symphony – with the Road of Meikle Seggie, the road that Christians, Romans and Demarco’s forbears used to travel to Scotland which also passed through Beuys home town Kleve.
Anyway, let’s not get into the anthroposophy of it all; essentially this is Demarco’s art alongside photographs of Beuys at work and play. It’s a conceptual love letter to a master too long in the ground.
Axolotl Gallery, 557 1460, until 5 Sep (not Sun), free.