ARTIST ROOMS

Joseph BeuysThe Shaman's Two Bags 1977

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Artwork details

Artist
Joseph Beuys (1921‑1986)
Title
The Shaman's Two Bags
Date 1977
MediumGraphite, crayon and ink on paper
Dimensionssupport (left): 760 x 564 mm support (right): 745 x 559 mm
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
AR00129
Not on display

Online caption

The presence of the shaman is felt in this drawing, not through the man himself being shown but by his belongings being featured. Beuys felt a deep connection with the figure of the shaman, who appears in tribal cultures across the world. The shape of the bag on the left looks as if a pair of antlers is growing from the top, recalling the artist's fascination with the stag. The hook shape at the side looks like the top of the staff used by a shepherd or shaman. On the bag on the right, a shape like a tuning fork or divining stick emerges from the side of the bag.

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