Joseph Beuys

Clan

1958

Medium
Oil paint and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 207 x 285 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
AR00107

Online caption

This drawing shows a group (or clan) of figures with the distinctive long ears of a hare. The hare is an animal which reappears frequently in Beuys's work, along with the stag. While the stag was connected to the upper (and male) part of the body, the hare was connected to the female / lower part of the body. It was also linked with the earth - Beuys compared the animal's shaping of the earth when burrowing underground to the process of human thought. Beuys's famous 1961 'action' 'How to explain pictures to a dead hare' featured the artist with his face covered in honey and gold leaf, explaining paintings to the dead animal.