Joseph Beuys

Coyote I

1980

Medium
Photograph, black and white, on canvas with oil paint
Dimensions
Support: 452 x 702 mm
frame: 660 x 908 x 85 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
AR00695

Online caption

This is one of a pair of images showing Beuys's 1974 'action' 'I Like America and America Likes Me'. The 'action' began as soon as the artist landed in America. He was wrapped in felt at the airport, and driven in an ambulance to René Block's Manhattan gallery. He spent three days in the gallery space with a coyote before being driven straight back to the airport and flown home. The coyote is sacred to Native Americans, and represented an aspect of the country's past that Beuys liked. Each day of the 'action', he made two piles of the current 'Wall Street Journal'. These would be duly torn or urinated on by the coyote – his statement on contemporary America.