Joseph Beuys

Untitled (1955)

About this artwork

In this collage, the artist has combined a leaf with lime, putting a mineral element together with an object from the natural world. Beuys occasionally used leaves and pressed flowers in his early works of the 1940s and 1950s, and drawings of natural forms were included in his first exhibitions after the Second World War. This reflects an interest in the natural sciences which was lifelong. In later years, Beuys referred to the 1950s as a period of preparation, which he spent reading and making hundreds of drawings which influenced his later sculpture and 'actions'.

see media
  • title: Untitled
  • accession number: AR00696
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1955
  • measurements: 30.20 x 24.40 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.