Joseph Beuys
Sostanza Plastica 1965

Artwork details

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Sostanza Plastica
Date 1965
Medium Oil paint on paper
Dimensions Support: 608 x 527 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

The title of this work means 'Plastic Substance' in Italian. Although German by birth, Beuys's use of words from different languages (often English) in his work shows the artist's pan-european perspective, and his love of language. The familiar medium of Braunkreuz oil paint is central to this painting. Taken nearly to the edges of the page, the uneven edges and patchy areas of the paint recall the medium's origins as a cheap domestic paint used for houses in rural areas.

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