Joseph BeuysPlay 17 1963

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Artwork details

Joseph Beuys (1921‑1986)
Play 17
Stück 17
Date 1963
MediumOil paint on typescript on paper
Dimensionssupport: 280 x 215 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

Play 17 is one of several short plays Beuys wrote in the early 1960s. As seen here, most consist of a list of characters with a few lines of instruction. The first line shows that the play is set 'In a room with 4 fat corners acting together'. This is followed by a list of animals and insects and concludes with the stage directions; 'The animals vanish as soon as the Western man enters. Simultaneously projected on the room's north wall the 'Eastern man''. This reflects the artist's belief that Western culture had separated itself from nature, unlike Eastern culture. The play's importance to Beuys is shown by the fact it exists in several handwritten versions and four multiple editions… (read more)

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