Untitled
© DACS 2008

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Untitled 1962
  • Artist Rooms
Beuys's famous Braunkreuz oil paint is used for this drawing. Depicting two neat identical shapes, the top shape has an extra fringe of brushstrokes around it to blur the edges. These brushstrokes recall smears of earth or dirt, recalling the fact that Braunkreuz was favoured by Beuys because it reminded the artist of the brown oil paint used to paint the walls and floors of rural houses. With its distinctive matt, dry texture, it is closely connected with nature and the earth – the very opposite of what is represented by the carefully painted geometric shapes.

Glossary Open

Braunkreuz

A medium invented, and first used, by the German artist Joseph Beuys in the late 1950s. It literally translates as ‘brown cross’. Composed of a mixture of paint and blood, it evokes images of rust, dirt, excrement and blood. As a term it has associations with Christianity, Nazism, National Socialism, war and the occult. By varying the qualities of the component parts, Beuys could experiment with the colour, density and texture of this unusual material.

Braunkreuz

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00653
  • Medium Oil paint on paper
  • Size 38.80 x 27.90 cm
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008