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Beuys saw a close link between scientific and spiritual ideas, and was always concerned with the physical properties of his sculptural materials. He was particularly interested in ideas of energy and warmth, which he related to the production of creative and social energy. In this work copper, a conductor of energy, is combined with felt, an insulator that absorbs energy. The form of the box may be seen as a response to the more abstract and impersonal approach of American Minimalists such as Donald Judd, who used similar structures to explore ideas of space and reveal the distinctive quality of materials.

July 2010