Joseph Beuys

Untitled (1962)

About this artwork

Beuys's interest in sound is indicated in this assemblage, which uses a vinyl record as its base. Sound was often an important part of the artist's 'actions', as he viewed the voice as a vital and direct transmitter of energy and a way to sculpt sound. Music also became an integral part of the artist's 'actions' of the 1960s, influenced by his collaborations with the Fluxus group which contained many musicians. Here, Beuys has covered a record with the distinctive matt brown Braunkreuz oil paint often used for his paintings. The addition of seeds and vegetable matter represents nature.

see media
  • title: Untitled
  • accession number: AR00656
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1962
  • measurements: 30.40 x 29.90 x 6.00 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.
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.