Joseph Beuys

Probe in the bloodstream of the oak


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
Sonde im Blutkreislauf des Eiches
Envelope, tempera, graphite and pin on paper
Support: 238 × 532 mm
frame: 680 × 525 × 48 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 area of blood-red paint at the centre of this collage is reminiscent of the heart, man's power source, anticipating the artist's later work with sources of energy. Although the red is tempera paint, Beuys did paint with hare's blood in some drawings. On the reverse of the paper, faintly seen from this side, is an architectural drawing of the Catholic Church in Lübeck, a northern German city. The elk or stag appears in many of Beuys's drawings and, according to myth, represented a spirit guide.

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