Joseph Beuys

Dumb Box


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
Dumme Kiste
Copper and felt
Object: 470 × 1080 × 630 mm
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland
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

Display caption

Beuys saw a close link between scientific and spiritual ideas, and was always concerned with the physical properties of his sculptural materials. He was particularly interested in ideas of energy and warmth, which he related to the production of creative and social energy. In this work copper, a conductor of energy, is combined with felt, an insulator that absorbs energy. The form of the box may be seen as a response to the more abstract and impersonal approach of American Minimalists such as Donald Judd, who used similar structures to explore ideas of space and reveal the distinctive quality of materials.

Gallery label, July 2010

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

You might like