- Digital Formats
Pencil and ferric chloride on paper
17.5 x 27 cm
Sketched lines, heading to a vanishing point, open up a space, the idea of a landscape. A cocoon-like body dominates the sheet of paper. It is intensified by blurred lines of ferric chloride. Other grey smear marks move towards and into the body. Within, there is another round shape, which forms a kind of centre of the work. A space towards which all lines flee and in which their energies are concentrated. This drawing by Beuys conveys 'information about energy bodies'. This information, however, is rendered accessible not through words but through simple lines on a piece of paper.
In his theory of 'Social Sculpture', Beuys formulates the idea that every human being can contribute to the well-being of the community through creative action and thus exercise a plastic, formative and transformative effect on society. 'The only revolutionary force is the force of human creativity' (Beuys). In his drawings, as Beuys himself repeatedly emphasized, he developed his theories and ideas as an illustration of shaping forms of thoughts. His graphic works are thought-images that are accessible on a sensual level. In the present drawing, viewers can put themselves in the concrete position of the energy bodies, which Beuys could also have realized as installations in physical space.
The drawing 'Information about energy bodies' was shown in the ifa touring exhibition 'Beuys: Drawings, Objects and Prints.' The exhibition started in Sydney in 1990 and, after 44 stops on over five continents, ended in Naples in 2004. What does it mean for an artistic work to travel so far and be seen in so many countries? And what do these drawings mean for us today, almost 65 years after they were made?
For the anniversary of the artist's 100th birthday, which takes place this year, Beuys's drawings will be brought into dialogue with contemporary positions represented by Andrea Acosta, Anne Duk Hee Jordan and Sara Ouhaddou in the ifa gallery Berlin.