Joseph Beuys

Madchen druckt elastische Plastik ein [Girl Pushing Against Elastic Sculpture] (1961)

About this artwork

The 'elastic sculpture' could refer to a felt sculpture which takes on the curves of the female figure. However, the woman who pushes against the large mass seems to almost be absorbed into it and overwhelmed by it, as it edges her out of the picture. The collaged element of this work is a diary page, which has been covered with the same Braunkreuz oil paint used for the painting. The inclusion of the page brings an aspect of the everyday to the image.

see media
  • title: Madchen druckt elastische Plastik ein [Girl Pushing Against Elastic Sculpture]
  • accession number: AR00113
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1961
  • measurements: 23.80 x 33.90 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.