Joseph Beuys
Lightning with Stag in its Glare 1958–85

Artwork details

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Lightning with Stag in its Glare
Date 1958–85
Medium Bronze, iron, aluminium, compass (39 elements)
Dimensions Display dimensions variable
Lent from a private collection 2009
On long term loan

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In the massive installation Lightning with Stag in its Glare (1958-85), the suspended, bronze triangle embodies the energy of a powerful flash of lightning, which illuminates a group of half-formed creatures. The ‘stag’ of the title was originally made from an ironing board and then cast in bright aluminium to suggest the glare of the lightning. The cart represents a goat, and the clods of bronze on the floor are primordial creatures. A small compass, mounted on top of a box, is another reference, with the lightning flash itself, to the natural energies of the earth.

November 2005

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