Joseph Beuys
Tails 1962

Artwork details

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Date 1962
Medium Oil paint, graphite and felt on paper
Dimensions Support: 397 x 1542 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

Over a metre and a half in length, this drawing depicts a strange figure who is part animal, part human. The circular object on which the figure's beak rests is a piece of felt – the material with which Beuys is renowned for using extensively in his sculpture and actions. Felt is part of the artist's iconic story in which his life was saved after a plane crash when he was wrapped in layers of felt and fat. Although felt represents warmth and protection, its composition of compressed fibres or hair also refers to the human body.

About this artwork