Joseph Beuys



Leaves, ink and graphite on paper
Support: 590 x 420 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

Throughout his life, Beuys was interested in all aspects of the natural world. As a boy he collected and catalogued biological specimens and produced watercolour paintings of his local area. Among the first works Beuys exhibited after the Second World War were drawings from nature. The pressed leaves used here recall those works. Nature and the environment continued to play an important part in the artist's life throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1980 he was a founding member of Germany's Green Party. The following year he launched his ambitious project to plant 7000 trees with accompanying basalt columns in the city of Kassel: '7000 Eichen' (7000 Oaks).