Joseph Beuys and the “After-Auschwitz” Sublime | …

In the poignant drawing Dove, Food, Rainbow (1949, Graphite and watercolour on card, AR00095 ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through the d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund 2008.) Beuys uses simple linear graphite and white washes of watercolour on a raw, textured ground of found card, to create a feeling of profound lassitude and hope. The bowed head of the dove linked to the promise of a rainbow which has not yet burst into colour and the mountainous horizon is both a statement of loss and aspiration. When I think of Beuys I think of Maslow’s pyramid of human needs and belief in the motivational capacity of human beings for self-actualisation and self-transcendence. As a follower of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings, there are elements of ethical individualism and spiritual science that become integrated Beuys’s in the trajectory of his drawings.

ARTIST ROOMS: Joseph Beuys A Language of Drawing, 30 July – 23 October

Beuys’s Pyramidales Bild (1979, Oil paint on printed paper, AR00687, ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through the d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund 2008) encapsulates his philosophy in its synthesis of ideas, beliefs and materials. The pyramid is a multifaceted form in relation to Christianity, Theosophy and Steiner, but what is so interesting in this drawing is Beuys’s use of newspaper print and the way that the halo of fat bled into the paper defines and transforms our reading of the more rigid structure within. In this vertical diptych the geometric forms are almost architectural and the fold of the newsprint holds a sun-like apex of fat. These drawings resemble a built structure/ environment but also the human body. The feeling held in this drawing is the softened rigidity of form and feeling. There’s an emotive sense of spirituality and hope grounded in a real world of possibility. This is communicated not by an illustrative, narrative imagery, but by the combination of thought and raw, found, everyday materials which are reconfigured, crafted in an apex of human aspiration, continually striving towards light.


Joseph Beuys Abstract: Essay by Lynne Cooke

Richard Demarco & Joseph Beuys/ A Unique Partnership, 30- July – 16 October

At the end of “ (all the Joseph Beuys references in the world cannot heal the pain, confusion, regret, cruelty, betrayal, or trauma....),” a 2009-10 solo show by the performance artist Keith Hennessy, he sat naked but with his groin covered in lard. He gathered us, the audience, around him onstage. Pushing a needle with blood-red thread through scars in his own flesh, he sewed the thread through the clothing of the three people in the audience seated nearest him. He then gave lingeringly searching gazes into our eyes.


Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson – Smarthistory

“I outlined a new biography in drawings. I had already conceived the idea of a social work of art upon which I am still working”. (Joseph Beuys, 1980).

History of Our World | Life, Death and Basinski. | Page 2

In the poignant drawing Dove, Food, Rainbow (1949, Graphite and watercolour on card, AR00095 ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through the d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund 2008.) Beuys uses simple linear graphite and white washes of watercolour on a raw, textured ground of found card, to create a feeling of profound lassitude and hope. The bowed head of the dove linked to the promise of a rainbow which has not yet burst into colour and the mountainous horizon is both a statement of loss and aspiration. When I think of Beuys I think of Maslow’s pyramid of human needs and belief in the motivational capacity of human beings for self-actualisation and self-transcendence. As a follower of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings, there are elements of ethical individualism and spiritual science that become integrated Beuys’s in the trajectory of his drawings.

‘For me it is the idea of the word that produces all images

In the poignant drawing Dove, Food, Rainbow (1949, Graphite and watercolour on card, AR00095 ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through the d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund 2008.) Beuys uses simple linear graphite and white washes of watercolour on a raw, textured ground of found card, to create a feeling of profound lassitude and hope. The bowed head of the dove linked to the promise of a rainbow which has not yet burst into colour and the mountainous horizon is both a statement of loss and aspiration. When I think of Beuys I think of Maslow’s pyramid of human needs and belief in the motivational capacity of human beings for self-actualisation and self-transcendence. As a follower of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings, there are elements of ethical individualism and spiritual science that become integrated Beuys’s in the trajectory of his drawings.