Joseph Beuys
Model for a Felt Environment 1964

Artwork details

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Model for a Felt Environment
Entwurf fur ein Filzenvironment
Date 1964
Medium Wood, glass, felt, oil paint and lead
Dimensions Displayed: 1840 x 1680 x 840 mm
object (vitrine): 1840 x 1680 x 840 mm
object (felt object): 630 x 700 x 220 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
Not on display

Online caption

The neat rolls of grey felt on painted wood inside this vitrine are intended as a model for an 'environment'. Felt insulates and absorbs, representing protection but also a sense of constriction, like being suffocated. The same type of felt rolls are seen in the 'environment' 'Plight' (1958/1985), now in the Pompidou Centre, in which the walls and ceiling are covered with felt to create a stifling atmosphere. Beuys used felt in an infamous 'action' performed the same year this model was made. 'The Chief' saw the artist being wrapped in a felt blanket, fighting claustrophobia to lie practically still, as if in a coffin, for a nine-hour period.

About this artwork