Joseph Beuys

Woman with Falling Stone (1959)

About this artwork

In this drawing we see a female figure, drawn between the vertical lines of lined paper, as if trapped inside an accounts book. The drawing is an example of the artist incorporating the features pre-existing on his material to enhance his work. This device of trapping the woman serves to highlight her isolation. This is a feature frequently seen in Beuys's drawings of women in the 1950s, as is the lack of definition on the figure's face. The woman is shown as statuesque but the falling stone looms ominously above her head, bringing the threat of impending violence to the image.

see media
  • title: Woman with Falling Stone
  • accession number: AR00645
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1959
  • measurements: 29.60 x 20.70 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
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.