Joseph Beuys

Score for Action with Transmitter (felt) Receiver in the Mountains (1973)

About this artwork

Although many of Beuys's works on paper were used to capture early ideas for sculptural works, his 'scores' often relate specifically to his 'actions'. While not all were eventually realised in performance, the scores outline the essential components of the 'action'. Unlike musical scores which use universally understood forms of notation, Beuys's scores tend to be a combination of notes and sketches which could only be fully understood by the artist. In this drawing, we see jagged mountain tops as well as lines of Morse code, ready to be transmitted or received. The title also mentions felt, one of the artist's favourite materials.

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  • title: Score for Action with Transmitter (felt) Receiver in the Mountains
  • accession number: AR00683
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1973
  • measurements: 24.10 x 17.20 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.