Joseph Beuys

Actress

1964

Artist
Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
Aktrice
Medium
Graphite on cardboard
Dimensions
Support: 568 x 208 mm
Acquisition
ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Reference
AR00663

Not on display

Online caption

The subject of this drawing, the actress, recalls Beuys's drawings of the 1950s where women appeared frequently in the guise of actresses or sometimes witches. At that time, the women were shown as intangible, almost mythical figures. Here, however, the figure has been drawn in more detail, with the face individualised to a greater extent than previously seen. Her bracelets and the tool in her hand suggest a tribal association but also stress the active side of the female principle. Yet Beuys still keeps her within the confines of a narrow triangle, showing her without context and unable to interact with the rest of the world.

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