Online caption

Beuys lets the medium take centre stage in this work. Made of five pieces of paper, it is titled after the distinctive brown oil paint the artist used, whose name translates as 'Brown cross'. Compared to his more delicate watercolour drawings of the 1950s, Beuys's Braunkreuz works are bold and have a sculptural aspect. The medium was named by the artist himself, whose love of language and word play is demonstrated in the name's composition, where two words compound to make a new word. This echoes the composition of the cross shape, where two elements intersect to form a third.