Joseph Beuys

Weisse Trübung [White Turbulence] (1963)

About this artwork

The medium of this work, two paintings on board, seems almost too ordinary for Beuys and very different from his work of the same period. Yet by enclosing the paintings in a specially-designed box of glass and zinc, he makes the work refer to his fascination with heat and energy. The artist used several different metals regularly in his work, with each representing different properties - zinc signifies insulation. The box is similar to the vitrines Beuys used to display selections of objects.

see media
  • title: Weisse Trübung [White Turbulence]
  • accession number: AR00091
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Sculpture
  • date created: 1963
  • measurements: 48.50 x 72.90 x 8.00 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.