- Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
- Painted metal on card
- Support: 316 x 217 mm
frame: 680 x 525 x 39 mm
- Tate / National Galleries of Scotland
- 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
Although Beuys did not create art in a deliberately abstract style, this work is reminiscent of German artist Josef Albers's series of works 'Homage to the Square', as well as of the colourful abstracts of Beuys's favourite pupil, Blinky Palermo. The use of the square here focuses attention on the simplicity of the shape and the colour, made all the more striking by the neutral cardboard background. Beuys viewed colour as a 'material', using it deliberately and sparingly. As red is a primary colour, it can be used as the basis for many more colours. It also has associations with life, vitality and blood.