F.I.U. Flag, 1985

Object, 92 x 150 cm

In February 1974, Joseph Beuys and the German Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll announced the creation of the Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research (F.I.U.) with these words: ‘Creativity is not limited to people practicing one of the traditional forms of art, and even in the case of artists creativity is not confined to the exercise of their art. Each one of us has a creative potential which is hidden by competitiveness and success-aggression. To recognise, explore and develop this potential is the task of the school.’

The university, which had no fixed venue, grew as a major international collective project of creation and learning. Strongly disagreeing with the elitism of art, Beuys promoted artistic practice as a mechanism for the transformation of society. From a radically lively option, he understood that what mattered in art was not an exercise in style but the effectiveness of the message. The Free International University was active until 1988, two years after the death of Beuys.


Technical details

Original title:
F.I.U. Flag
Registration number:
Beuys, Joseph
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan
Object type:
Acrylic on cloth, methallic washers and synthetic string
92 x 150 cm (height x width)
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan. National Collection of Art
© The Joseph Beuys Estate, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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