Joseph Beuys

The Woman with the Dog (1975)

About this artwork

Some of Beuys's drawings can be difficult to decipher. Despite the title, neither a human figure nor an animal is immediately apparent here, although the dark shapes in the top drawing are reminiscent of a dog's head. The two rows of drawings beneath appear to show a landscape, and their arrangement resembles a comic strip, as if a story is being told through the sequence. Beuys's drawings often featured the animals he loved. He felt that animals retained a natural instinct and closeness to nature that humans have lost.

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  • title: The Woman with the Dog
  • accession number: AR00127
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art One(In Storage)
  • object type: Work on paper
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1975
  • measurements: 25.40 x 26.40 cm; support (lower, each): 25.40 x 26.00 mm
  • 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.