Joseph Beuys

Partitur für Manresa [Score for Manresa] (1966)

About this artwork

This drawing is a plan for the 'action' 'Manresa', performed in 1966. Manresa is a village in the Pyrenees which is associated with Ignatius Loyola, the author of the book 'Spiritual Exercises'. In the 'action', Beuys used the motif of a divided cross to refer to the geographical and spiritual divide between East and West, and the need for unification and healing. Here, we can see the halved cross, as well as triangular shapes. In Christianity, this shape refers to the Holy Trinity but Beuys's use of the shape also refers to his belief in the triad of 'thinking, feeling, wanting' which he described as influencing his triangular, wedged 'Fat Corners'.

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  • title: Partitur für Manresa [Score for Manresa]
  • accession number: AR00124
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1966
  • measurements: 20.80 x 29.60 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.