Joseph Beuys

Blue on Centre

1984

Medium
Painted metal on card
Dimensions
Support: 316 x 240 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
AR00693

Online caption

Although Beuys did not create art in a deliberately abstract style, this work is reminiscent of German artist Josef Albers's series of works 'Homage to the Square', as well as of the colourful abstracts of Beuys's favourite pupil, Blinky Palermo. The use of the square here focuses attention on the simplicity of the shape and the colour, made all the more striking by the neutral cardboard background. Beuys viewed colour as a 'material', using it deliberately and sparingly. As a primary colour, blue can be used to make other colours, and is often associated with spirituality. Palermo made extensive use of blue, with spiritual connotations, in his work.