Joseph Beuys

under Tension

1964

Original title
unter Spannung
Medium
Oil paint, gouache and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 296 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
AR00664

Online caption

The title of this painting translates as 'Under Tension' or 'electrically live'. It depicts a machine or piece of scientific apparatus, with the conical and cylindrical shapes holding a long strip of metal under tension in a curved shape. Balanced on top of this, there looks to be another piece of metal with a lump of material at each end. Made in 1964, the drawing may relate to an 'action' performed by Beuys or might be a sketch for an unrealised 'action'. The artist included working machinery in his sculptures and 'actions'.