ARTIST ROOMS

Joseph BeuysObservation on the Cat 1956

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Artwork details

Artist
Joseph Beuys (1921‑1986)
Title
Observation on the Cat
Beobachtung fur Katze
Date 1956
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 316 x 241 mm
Collection
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
AR00104
Not on display

Online caption

Amongst the flurry of pencil lines in this drawing, we can make out parts of a cat – claws, head, ears, teeth and limbs appear, with a long striped body at the bottom corner. Beuys's approach to drawing has been compared to Leonardo da Vinci in its investigative manner. Like Leonardo, Beuys had the enquiring mind of a scientist and the same interest in understanding the natural world. This work shows the artist's exploration of the shape of his subject, building form by assembling shapes. It shows how Beuys used drawing as a way of exploring the world, as well as capturing his ideas.

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