Joseph Beuys

La Piantagione (1984)

About this artwork

Nature played an important role in Beuys's art. While his early drawings and paintings depicted nature or used natural elements and pigments, his later work combined his interests in politics and nature. The title of this drawing translates as 'The Plantation' in Italian. It relates to a project the artist began in 1984, on his sixty-third birthday, to plant four hundred trees and bushes in Bolognano. He was made an honorary citizen of the town in the same year. Beuys particularly loved Italy, and his work was exhibited there during his lifetime more than in any other country.

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  • title: La Piantagione
  • accession number: AR00701
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 1984
  • measurements: 41.70 x 29.60 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.
  • 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.