About this artwork
This work is in two parts, with the part on the right being an impression of the part on the left. It was likely made by placing two pieces of paper on top of each other so that the lower piece absorbed some of the watercolour which was painted on the top piece of paper, making a partial copy. With his interest in the natural sciences, Beuys would undoubtedly have been aware of the geyser (an erupting hot spring) as a geological phenomenon. This work may refer to the 'Great Geysir' in Iceland, from which the word 'geyser' originates.
- title: Geysir
- accession number: AR00631
- artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- medium: Watercolour
- date created: 1953
- measurements: 22.60 x 21.80 cm
- 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
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.