Joseph Beuys

Night in the Rafters


Not on display
Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Oil paint on paper
Support: 758 x 557 mm
frame: 825 x 625 x 39 mm
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 horizontal lines of this painting give the impression of looking up at rafters in the roof of a building. The medium of Braunkreuz paint was a favourite of Beuys, and one the artist had used since the 1950s. He used it not so much for its colour as for the sculptural quality it brought to his works on paper. The matt, almost dusty effect it created is also reminiscent of the earth. Animals often appear in Beuys's drawings and paintings, and three rat-like animals can be seen here, two of which appear to be fighting.


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