Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)

Minneapolis Fragment

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)
Minneapolis Fragment
signed 'Joseph Beuys' (to the centre)
hare's blood, graphite and rubber stamp on metal printing plate, between glass plates in iron frame
31 x 42 ¼in. (78.8 x 107.3cm.)
Executed in 1974-1977
Art School of Minneapolis, Minneapolis.
Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York.
Private Collection (acquired from the above in November 1988)
Anon. sale, Christie's New York, 16 November 2000, lot 209.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
New York, Hirschl & Adler Modern, Joseph Beuys: Ideas and Actions, 1988, p. 76, no. 48 (illustrated, p. 77).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Matthew Rigg
Matthew Rigg

Lot Essay

Grounded in collaboration and conversation,
Minneapolis Fragment is a poignant testament
to Joseph Beuys’ life-long aim to test, push and
ultimately deconstruct the boundaries which
defined, and confined, art. This Fragment was
created on the occasion of Beuys’ first trip to
America, during a series of public talks entitled
‘Energy Plan for the Western Man’, which the
artist gave as a way of disseminating his ideas
about art and society. As part of these lectures,
Beuys would make notes on a blackboard,
creating works in which art and intellectual
pursuit were fused. Unusually, in his Minneapolis
lecture, the artist drew directly on lithographic
plates – of which this work is one, whilst another
plate, titled Hare’s Blood, is in the collection of
the Tate, London. On the metallic surface of the
plate, the word ‘freedom’ is distinctly etched,
accompanied by a pictogram of a sun, and, in
one corner, a cube; the centre is anointed with a
horizontal line of hare’s blood. This interrelation
of primitive symbols and organic elements is
used by Beuys as a macrocosm for the complete
universe, the visionary gesture of the artist
mirroring the moment of creation of the world.
In its form, content and execution, Minneapolis
Fragment perfectly encapsulates Beuys’ 1979
declaration: ‘I really don’t have anything to do with
art – and that is the only way to really contribute
anything to art. I’ve always wanted to get away
from this conception of the artist, because I don’t
want to be that. I want to have a thing that can
live, based on its own inner laws. That’s my starting
point and that’s not something that’s limited
only to art’ (J. Beuys, quoted in Joseph Beuys:
Zeichnungen, exh. cat., Museum Boymans-Van
Beuningen, Rotterdam, 1979, p. 93).

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