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Beuys assembled this vitrine in 1983 to represent the principle themes of his life and work. He often used unusual materials for his sculptures, investing them with personal or spiritual significance. The objects in this case all include fat, a material that Beuys considered ‘very basic to life’. The ones on the left also use beeswax, which symbolised warmth for Beuys. In the middle is a sealed jar containing pork dripping, with a thermometer resting on it. On the right are Fat Corner, also made of pork dripping, and Depression, a zinc box filled with tallow from mutton.

May 2008