Joseph Beuys

La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi (1972)

About this artwork

By the 1970s, Beuys was deeply involved with politics. In 1972, he founded the Committee for a Free University and was working with the Organisation for Direct Democracy through Referendum, which had been formed the previous year. The title of this print translates as 'We are the Revolution'. Beuys presents a strong image of himself striding towards the viewer in a confrontational way, as if ready for action himself and encouraging us to join him. This work is even more striking when seen in real life, as it is nearly two metres tall so the artist appears life-size and as if poised to step out of the image.

see media
  • title: La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi
  • accession number: AR00624
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1972
  • measurements: 189.60 x 98.70 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.