Joseph Beuys

Damp Value (1964 - 1974)

About this artwork

Although this is a sculptural work, it has a graphic element, with the page of notes and sketches in the frame. The piece has an unfinished look about it, with the page stuck in one corner of the frame, but as the frame has been hand painted and glazed it shows that the work is finished. This gives the notes a more official appearance and echoes the importance of Beuys's drawings to his work as a whole. He built up an enormous number of sketches and notes, often scribbled on scraps of paper, which he used as 'reservoirs' of ideas for his art.

see media
  • title: Damp Value
  • accession number: AR00604
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1964 - 1974
  • measurements: overall: 1372 mm x 660 mm
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © DACS 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys

German artist Beuys believed that art was integral to everyday life. His own art was shaped by an experience early in his life. As a Luftwaffe pilot during the war, Beuys was shot down over the Crimea and was saved by nomadic Tartars. Barely alive, he was wrapped in felt and fat which preserved his body heat, and taken to safety on sledges pulled by dogs. This incident, and these particular elements, informed much of his art, which has a redemptive, mystical and ritualistic character. Central to his work were his 'Actions', which involved teaching, audience discussion and performance. The recurrent themes were social and political. Associated with the ecological movement - he was a founder member of the Green Party - he also had a strong influence on German politics.