Joseph Beuys

Houses of the Shaman


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
2 works on paper, oil paint and graphite
Support (left): 359 × 259 mm
support (right): 353 × 255 mm
frame: 825 × 623 × 39 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

Shamanism is a recurring theme for Beuys. Although the shaman himself does not feature here, his presence is invoked by the depiction of his houses. It is fitting that Braunkreuz oil paint has been used to paint the houses, as one of the reasons Beuys began to use this specific type of paint was its similarity to the paint used for painting houses in rural areas of Germany. The matt, almost dusty texture of the paint reminds the viewer of the earth and our origins. The shaman, too, is a representative of man's primitive past and natural, uncultured personality.

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