Joseph Beuys

Aufruf [Call] (1978-1983)

About this artwork

Beuys loved using simple and everyday materials in his work. He made many works in which newspapers were painted with Braunkreuz paint, obscuring most of the surface, but leaving small areas uncovered, often to make a particular point by highlighting words or images. Here, only the edge of a column of text remains visible. The ink stamp at the top of the work contains the image of a bull's head inside a diamond shape. The words around the image are smudged, but the word 'Kassel' can be seen at the bottom left. This German city is the location for the international modern art fair which is held every five years.

see media
  • title: Aufruf [Call]
  • accession number: AR00686
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1978-1983
  • measurements: 47.90 x 19.90 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.