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Leonardo da Vinci

Bill Gates on Leonardo

The Microsoft co-founder speaks about the Italian artist's influence on Beuys ahead of an exhibition in Berlin

“Since the age of ten, I have felt that Leonardo is probably the most amazing person in history. The way that he was ahead of his time, the way he thought on his own. He was a genius in more areas than any scientist in any other age, and as we all know he was also an inspired artist and sculptor...our partner museum is pairing Leonardo’s work with that of another visionary, Joseph Beuys. Leonardo and his work pre-occupied Beuys and exerted a tremendous fascination on him, inspiring [this] cycle of drawings. It is the first time that this important work of art belonging to the Dia Center in New York is being exhibited in Germany. And like Leonardo more than four centuries earlier, Beuys broke through traditional barriers betwen art and science. He sort of unleashed the creative power that every individual possesses.” Bill Gates speaking at the opening of an exhibition in Berlin until 19 March which pairs Mr Gates’s Codex Leicester with drawings by Beuys inspired by the Italian artist.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 101 March 2000