Joseph Beuys

Therapeuticum

1964

Original title
Therapeuticum
Medium
Graphite, oil paint and fat on paper
Dimensions
Support: 294 x 209 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
Reference
AR00117

Online caption

The list-style structure seen in this work appears in several Beuys drawings of the 1960s. It shows Beuys using words to give structure to a drawing, and prefigures language and sound becoming an important part of the artist's later 'actions'. The list here is made up of the names of healing plants, with some names covered with oil paint and fat. These substances are intended to 'absorb' or 'insulate' the words, performing the same role as the pieces of felt and slabs of fat in Beuys's sculptures.