Joseph Beuys

Model for a Felt Environment


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
Entwurf fur ein Filzenvironment
Wood, glass, felt, oil paint and lead
Displayed: 1840 × 1680 × 840 mm
object (vitrine): 1840 × 1680 × 840 mm
object (felt object): 630 × 700 × 220 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

The neat rolls of grey felt on painted wood inside this vitrine are intended as a model for an 'environment'. Felt insulates and absorbs, representing protection but also a sense of constriction, like being suffocated. The same type of felt rolls are seen in the 'environment' 'Plight' (1958/1985), now in the Pompidou Centre, in which the walls and ceiling are covered with felt to create a stifling atmosphere. Beuys used felt in an infamous 'action' performed the same year this model was made. 'The Chief' saw the artist being wrapped in a felt blanket, fighting claustrophobia to lie practically still, as if in a coffin, for a nine-hour period.

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