Joseph Beuys

Pyramidales Bild [Pyramidal Image] (1979)

About this artwork

This work is based around the shape of the triangle. The triangle or triad is used in Christianity, but also in theosophy and the writings of the philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who believed that the development of humanity could be tracked by the movement of state, economy and intellectual life. Beuys was greatly interested in Steiner's theories on society and he also used the shape as a symbol for his own theory of sculpture, to suggest unity and harmony but also movement. Newspapers are used as a basis for many of the artist's works, and here are artfully revealed and concealed.

see media
  • title: Pyramidales Bild [Pyramidal Image]
  • accession number: AR00687
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1979
  • measurements: 32.40 x 54.60 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.