Joseph Beuys. Iron Chest from "Vacuum-Mass". Cologne, October 14, 1968

Joseph Beuys Iron Chest from "Vacuum-Mass" Cologne, October 14, 1968

  • Not on view

Hidden inside this object are bicycle pumps and fat, one of Beuys’s signature materials. During an “action,” as he called his performances, he piped fat through the bicycle pumps, then encased the pumps inside this iron structure shaped like a halved cross, and finally sealed it shut using a blow torch, creating a relic of the event. Beuys worked in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, installation, drawings, prints, and multiples. As a teacher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1963 to 1972, Beuys became known for his unconventional, politically minded teaching approach, inspiring a younger generation of artists to challenge traditional art-making practices.

Gallery label from Studio Visit: Selected Gifts from Agnes Gund, 2018
Medium
Iron, fat, and bicycle pumps
Dimensions
22 x 43 x 21 1/4" (55.9 x 109.2 x 54 cm)
Credit
Gift of Agnes Gund in honor of Kynaston McShine
Object number
1.2002
Copyright
© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.