Joseph Beuys

Table with Accumulator

1958–85

Original title
Tisch mit Aggregat
Medium
Wood, accumulator, clay and wire
Dimensions
Overall display dimensions variable
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
AR00603

Display caption

In this work, an accumulator – a kind of rechargeable battery in which energy can be stored - is attached by wires to two pieces of clay, as if drawing power from the earth itself. For Beuys, the production and storage of energy was a metaphor for the creative and spiritual energy that he wanted to foster both in the individual viewer and in society as a whole. This was one of the works that Beuys included in the 1982 Zeitgeist exhibition, accompanying the various elements of Lightning with Stag in its Glare.

Gallery label, July 2010