Joseph Beuys

Crystal Measurement

About this artwork

This work is particularly striking for its bold use of colour. Beuys often worked with natural or neutral-coloured materials and tended to use colour sparingly and deliberately. Early in his life, Beuys's parents had hoped that he would pursue a career in the natural sciences and although he chose art instead, science remained a lifelong interest. In 1949 he made a wooden model of a crystal, fascinated by its 'mathematical and platonic orders'. He continued to use the 'crystalline principle' as a symbol of reason, which, if not tempered by the warmth of intuition and emotion, would remain cold and lifeless.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Crystal Measurement
  • date created:
    1954
  • materials:
    Watercolour on paper
  • measurements:
    27.60 x 30.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    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
  • accession number:
    AR00632
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys