Joseph Beuys

under Tension


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
unter Spannung
Oil paint, gouache and graphite on paper
Support: 296 × 209 mm
frame: 680 × 524 × 33 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 title of this painting translates as 'Under Tension' or 'electrically live'. It depicts a machine or piece of scientific apparatus, with the conical and cylindrical shapes holding a long strip of metal under tension in a curved shape. Balanced on top of this, there looks to be another piece of metal with a lump of material at each end. Made in 1964, the drawing may relate to an 'action' performed by Beuys or might be a sketch for an unrealised 'action'. The artist included working machinery in his sculptures and 'actions'.

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