Joseph Beuys

Ice Age


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Graphite and oil paint on paper
Support: 622 × 297 mm
frame: 826 × 622 × 40 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

In this work, Beuys has drawn several repeated shapes which appear to represent the outline of a woolly mammoth. Although animals of all kinds appear in Beuys's drawings, the mammoth represents not only nature but also pre-history. He was fascinated by anything which served as a reminder of the earth's great age, from rock formations to fossil fuels. In connection with his artistic exploration of sources of energy and heat, Beuys's scientific mind may also have been interested in the warm coat of the animal and its process of secreting a greasy fat into its hair in order to stay warm.

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