Joseph Beuys

Granite in Arid Chalk


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 297 × 208 mm
frame: 674 × 540 × 30 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

Two opposing elements are brought together in this painting, as Beuys combines hot and cold by depicting granite and chalk. Granite is an igneous rock, formed when molten rock cools and solidifies, and chalk is a sedimentary rock, formed by layers of mineral and organic material. Although the bright red granite looks like fire, it is in fact the cooler of the two elements when touched. Likewise, while the chalk is drier and 'arid', it is much warmer to the touch. Beuys has chosen two vastly different elements which also operate in reverse and at odds with their appearance.

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