Joseph Beuys

For Brown Environment: Giant Vessels


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Oil paint on paper
Support: 766 × 741 mm
frame: 850 × 810 × 48 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

Online caption

Beuys's environments developed from the artist's performed 'actions' and his glass cases (vitrines) containing objects. They were large-scale installations which allowed the artist to extend the boundaries of three-dimensional objects by 'staging' an environment, like a theatre set. Environments allowed Beuys to 'freeze' a moment from an 'action', and like the 'actions' and vitrines, a central concept of the environments was Beuys's use of everyday materials. In distinctive matt brown Braunkreuz oil paint, this work sets the tone for a monochromatic environment in the artist's signature colour. Dominated by a phallic shape, the painting may reflect an intention to use organic curves or rolls of felt in the environment.

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