Online caption

This pencil drawing has a mysterious and frustrating aspect. The elongated shapes look like words which have been deliberately and artfully scribbled over. Floating like clouds at the top of the page, they are out of our reach as we cannot read what they say, but the viewer's attention is therefore transferred to the shapes on the page and the quality of the medium. In some of Beuys's drawings which include text, the artist covered selected words with materials like Braunkreuz oil paint to let the medium 'absorb' them.