Zeichnungen 1947-59 IBEUYS, Joseph
Köln: Schirmer Verlag. 1972.
First edition. Published in an edition of 2000. 355x271mm. pp. 61 [40 plates]. Original white boards, lettered in black. Some light soiling to the cover and slight bumping to corners but overall in very good condition. Internally excellent with the plates in particularly fine condition. Text in German. Book label of John Le Sueur on front pastedown. In addition to the 40 plates there are 17 other drawing reproduced in the text.
“Beuys has been described by those who knew him as constantly drawing; he drew while travelling, while watching TV, while in private discussion, while in performance. Beuys’s attitude toward drawings implied it to be as intrinsic to him as breathing.” (Ann Temkin from the catalogue essay to the 1993 MOMA retrospective).
During the years covered by this book, Beuys was recovering from the physical and spiritual trauma of World War II. Drawing became the focus of his mental and artistic energies. This work is broadly representational: landscapes, botanical studies, and allegorical subjects together with human and animal figures. Beuys’s drawing move between light, faint lines and heavy emphatic markings. As Beuys himself often pointed out, his work at this early stage already embodied crucial elements of his thinking: the universal cycle of birth, death, and rebirth; the fluctuation of the world between “cold” crystalline states and “warm” organic ones; and the unity of the spiritual and material worlds.