About this artwork
Throughout his life, Beuys was interested in all aspects of the natural world. As a boy he collected and catalogued biological specimens and produced watercolour paintings of his local area. Among the first works Beuys exhibited after the Second World War were drawings from nature. The pressed leaves used here recall those works. Nature and the environment continued to play an important part in the artist's life throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1980 he was a founding member of Germany's Green Party. The following year he launched his ambitious project to plant 7000 trees with accompanying basalt columns in the city of Kassel: '7000 Eichen' (7000 Oaks).
- title: Untitled
- accession number: AR00682
- artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- date created: 1972
- measurements: 59.00 x 42.00 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.
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
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.