Joseph Beuys

Celtic Object 2 (1980)

About this artwork

Many of Beuys's 'actions' and sculptures used sound in some way. Sound is included in this relief through the use of a record. On top of the record is a hare's jawbone, the hare being an animal which recurs frequently in the artist's work. It is associated with the earth and with birth, but the inclusion of its bones here is also reminiscent of a relic of a saint. The title of this relief hints at the artist's interest in Celtic countries – he visited Scotland and Ireland several times during his life. It is stamped with the circular 'Hauptstrom' stamp Beuys used for works he felt summed up his beliefs particularly well.

see media
  • title: Celtic Object 2
  • accession number: AR00628
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art Two(In Storage)
  • object type: Mixed media
  • date created: 1980
  • measurements: 84.10 x 64.50 x 5.60 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.
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.