Come and visit our new collection website, featuring over 90,000 new object records and 35,000 newly digitised artworks
© DACS 2015

Reference URL

Actress 1956

On Display Modern Two

  • Artist Rooms
Joseph Beuys's drawings often show women as actresses or witches. This is not intended to be derogatory, but rather refers to women taking on a role and performing, much like the artist's own adoption of the guise of a shaman. The torn paper of this drawing suggests that it has been damaged, but Beuys would draw on anything that came to hand when he had an idea, which gives this work a sense of immediacy. The exclusion of the woman's head would also have been done deliberately. In concentrating on the body, Beuys has depicted a curvy figure, with touches of pink to suggest the warmth of the flesh.


  • Acc. No. AR00637
  • Medium Crayon and watercolour on paper
  • Size 25.20 x 20.00 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