Joseph Beuys

Trance in the House of the Shaman


Not on display
Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Collage and graphite on paper
Support: 177 x 164 mm
frame: 680 x 524 x 28 mm
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

Online caption

Beuys adopted a shamanistic guise in many of his actions from the 1960s onwards, a role anticipated in his earlier drawings. In this depiction of a shamanic ritual, the image of a standing male figure has been overlaid with that of a crouching female figure. Both figures are shown without their heads; however, the shape behind the man appears to be a head with an enlarged eye. This may represent the 'third eye' which allows perception on a higher, spiritual level. In shamanism, the head is regarded as sacred, being the means of communication.


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