Joseph Beuys

Fat Battery


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
Felt, fat, tin, metal and cardboard
Object: 132 × 373 × 248 mm
Presented by E.J. Power through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1984

Display caption

The elements shown in this vitrine were acquired by Tate as individual works. Beuys later decided to place them together to match the groups of objects in the other two vitrines, which he had designed himself. Several of the sculptures incorporate bronze castings of a female torso, originally carved in wood by Beuys. In Bathtub for a Heroine, the figure is combined with an electric element and a copper cast of a mammoth's tooth. In Animal Woman, she seems to merge with a piece of industrial piping; while in Bed she floats suspended between the jaws of a clamp. Fat Battery consists of various fat and felt elements, combined by Beuys to suggest the shape and function of a battery, reflecting his concern with the generation and storage of energy.

Gallery label, May 2008

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Catalogue entry

Joseph Beuys 1921-1986

T03919 Fat Battery 1963

Felt, fat, tin, wood and cardboard 132 x 373 x 248 (5 1/4 x 14 3/4 x 9 3/4)
Not inscribed
Presented by Mr E.J. Power through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1984
Prov: the artist, who sold it to Wide White Space Gallery 1967, who sold it to E.J. Power 1974
Repr: Götz Adriani, Winfried Konnertz and Karin Thomas, Joseph Beuys, Cologne 1973, p.63 as 'Felt-Fat Sculpture'; Caroline Tisdall, Joseph Beuys, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1979, p.156 as 'Felt and Fat Sculpturers'

See entry on T03921.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, p.96

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