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Whale Trap
© DACS 2015

Reference URL

Whale Trap 1966

On Display Modern Two

  • Artist Rooms
Beuys's depictions of sea creatures reflect his interest in tribal magic and beliefs. The whale is associated with religion in several cultures, as well as being referred to in the Bible, most notably in the story of Jonah and the whale. Here, three whales circle around a shape which presumably represents a trap. The artist often used sound in his performed 'actions' and this painting also has an aspect of movement and sound. The whales are shown producing water from their blow holes, and have their mouths open as if communicating with whale song.


  • Acc. No. AR00672
  • Medium Graphite and oil paint on cardboard
  • Size 24.00 x 37.20 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