Joseph Beuys

mit Filzplastik [with Filzplastik] (1981)

About this artwork

This collage is typical of many of Beuys's works on paper. Pieced together from diverse scraps of paper, are small sketches, notes and calculations. The drawings and symbols were part of the personal language the artist used in his drawings. At the top of the collage is a plan or diagram, which may relate to the symbols of the elements aluminium and silicon (Al and Si) which appear on several pieces of paper. The sum of money 90,000 DM (Deutschmarks) also appears. Although his work from the 1960s onwards was primarily associated with sculpture and ‘actions’, drawing remained an important part of Beuys's working process, enabling him to capture his thoughts and feelings quickly and easily.

see media
  • title: mit Filzplastik [with Filzplastik]
  • accession number: AR00689
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1981
  • measurements: 57.70 x 36.70 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.