Joseph Beuys. Untitled IV. 1964-78

Joseph Beuys Untitled IV 1964-78

  • Not on view

These vitrines typify the unique way Beuys formed ensembles of his work for individual collectors. They include a diverse array of sculptures made between 1948 and 1982 involving found objects, felt or fat, and other organic materials. Their formal associations stem from the rhythm of echoing shapes, colors, or configurations. Many of these items are relics from the public performances, or "actions," that were a central part of Beuys's practice.

The original owner of the vitrines worked closely in concert with Beuys both in building his collection over the course of twenty years and finalizing its presentation in these glass cases in 1982. Beuys designed each vitrine to evoke the thick, heavy body and long spindly legs of a stag, an animal that, along with the hare, he often employed as an alter-ego. Here the vitrines are installed in slightly irregular fashion, an implicit reference to their potential for animation.

Gallery label from Focus: Joseph Beuys, 2008.
Glass, wood, and metal display case containing (left to right): Machine Aggregate (Maschinenaggregat), 1964: poppies, pine needles, machine parts, beeswax plate, shards of mirror, and fat in white tin can; Substances (Substanzen), 1977: eleven samples from Unschlitt/Tallow, 1977, and plastic box with fat; Plastic/Medicinal (Zinc Salve) Containing Blood Sausage (Plastik/Medizinisch [Zinksalbe] behandelte Blutwurst), 1964: blood sausage and zinc salve; Aus dem Maschineneraum (From the Machine Room), 1977-78: multiple of printed paper and can, and glass jar containing fat; Gelatin Wedge/Programmed (Gelatinekeil/Programmiert), 1969: gelatin, chocolate, and paper; Untitled (Beuys Brew) (Ohne Titel [Beuysbräu]), 1970: bottle carrier, eighteen "Dötze bottles," gelatin, glass, and oil paint; Untitled (Ohne Titel), 1973: grass plant (grass flower) and fat; Untitled (Proof for special edition of the magazine Interfunktionen, 61) (Ohne Titel [Klischee für Vorzugsausgabe der Zeitschrift Interfunktionen, Heft 61]), 1961: metal plate and oil paint
71 x 91 1/2 x 26 1/2" (180.3 x 232.4 x 67.3 cm)
Gift of Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann
Object number
© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Painting and Sculpture

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