Joseph Beuys

Yellow on Centre


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Painted metal on card
Support: 370 × 274 mm
frame: 680 × 525 × 38 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

Although Beuys did not create art in a deliberately abstract style, this work is reminiscent of German artist Josef Albers's series of works 'Homage to the Square', as well as of the colourful abstracts of Beuys's favourite pupil, Blinky Palermo. The use of the square here focuses attention on the simplicity of the shape and the colour, made all the more striking by the neutral cardboard background. Beuys viewed colour as a 'material', using it deliberately and sparingly. Yellow is a colour which suggests warmth and sunshine. Another notable appearance of the colour in the artist's work can be found in the multiple 'Capri Battery' (1985), where the yellow suggests the sunshine of the Italian island where Beuys lived while recovering from a lung condition.

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