Joseph Beuys

Two Red Fish

1954

Artist
Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
2 rote Fische
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 399 x 466 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
AR00633

Not on display

Online caption

This painting echoes the artist's sculptural work of the same period. It was made while Beuys was creating a series of reliefs of animals, including different fish and sea creatures, from slate. The use of colour in Beuys's work is always significant as he used it like a substance or material, meaning that colour became particularly important and representative. The bright red suggests blood, and, in turn, life. The symbol of the fish has also been used to represent life by several different religious groups. Beuys once expressed the opinion that fish represent continuity, as, unlike man, they cannot escape their fixed point in evolution.

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