Joseph Beuys

Probe in the bloodstream of the oak

1958

Original title
Sonde im Blutkreislauf des Eiches
Medium
Envelope, tempera, graphite and pin on paper
Dimensions
Support: 238 x 532 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
Reference
AR00634

Online caption

The area of blood-red paint at the centre of this collage is reminiscent of the heart, man's power source, anticipating the artist's later work with sources of energy. Although the red is tempera paint, Beuys did paint with hare's blood in some drawings. On the reverse of the paper, faintly seen from this side, is an architectural drawing of the Catholic Church in Lübeck, a northern German city. The elk or stag appears in many of Beuys's drawings and, according to myth, represented a spirit guide.