ARTIST ROOMS

Joseph Beuys Scala Napoletana 1985

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Artwork details

Artist
Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Title
Scala Napoletana
Date 1985
Medium Wood, steel wire and lead
Dimensions Overall dimensions variable
11000 x 10000 x 6000mm (room size at Bexhill)
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
AR00086
Not on display

Online caption

Much of the work Beuys made in his last few years includes objects or themes which suggest death. This sculpture was originally inspired by a ladder the artist found while recovering from illness on the island of Capri in Autumn 1985, which he hung with two stones. When he visited Amalfi at Christmas in the same year, he purchased a ladder (‘Scala Libera’) from a landlord which he used to make this sculpture. Held in suspension, it appears as if the pair of lead weights are preventing this heavy wooden ladder from soaring into the air. This is one of the last sculptures Beuys made. He died in January 1986.

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