Joseph Beuys

A Party for Animals (1969)

About this artwork

This work bears the circular stamp of the German Student Party, in red ink. Formed by Beuys in 1967, the artist commented 'The German Student Party is the world's largest party, but most of its members are animals'. The names handwritten beside the typed list of words is presumably a list of party members, including the name of the artist. Beuys was greatly involved with student politics in the 1960s and 1970s whilst he was a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He later went on to co-found the Green Party in Germany.

see media
  • title: A Party for Animals
  • accession number: AR00680
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1969
  • measurements: 52.60 x 18.80 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
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.