Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)
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Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)

Untitled (25 Partituren) (25 Musical Scores)

Details
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)
Untitled (25 Partituren) (25 Musical Scores)
each: signed and dated 'Joseph Beuys 71' (on the reverse)
ink on printed paper in artist's frame, in twenty-five parts
sheet: 11¾ x 8 1/8in. (29.6 x 20.6cm.)
framed: 17¾ x 14in. (44.5 x 35.6cm.)
Executed in 1971
Provenance
Peppa Morra Collection, Naples.
Galleria Lucio Amelio, Naples.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Literature
G. Celant, Beuys Tracce in Italia, Naples 1978, no. 180 (illustrated, pp. 176-178).
Exhibited
Brussels, Galerie Isy Brachot, Joseph Beuys, 1989-1990 (illustrated in colour, pp. 31-55). This exhibition later travelled to Paris, Galerie Isy Brachot.
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.

Brought to you by

Beatriz Ordovás
Beatriz Ordovás

Lot Essay

Mrs. Eva Beuys has kindly confirmed the authenticity of this work.


'The concept of drawing as a score had a solid precedent in Beuys's own understanding of drawing. The score provides a suitable metaphor
for Beuys's drawing enterprise as a whole. It echoes his consistent reference to the drawings as a source of ideas from which to
work and as a form of blueprint for his artistic projects. The score exemplifies Beuys's preference for process over product, and the
concept of art as an event that takes place in time rather than one that exists in stasis'.
(A.Temkin, quoted in Thinking Is Form: The Drawings of Joseph Beuys, exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1993, p. 50).


25 Partituren is a pivotal work on paper by Joseph Beuys, consisting of twenty-five sheets of paper in uniform artist's frames, each dated, numbered and stamped, listing the titles of over one hundred and forty drawings created between 1946 and 1971. Though a carefully realised work of conceptual minimalism, using words for visual effect and structure, the sheets are objects of strange beauty. The eye follows the lines of the ink, calligraphy seemingly transforms into abstract composition interrupted only by the formal character of the printed numbers and the Hauptstrom stamp. Beuys used the Hauptstrom (Mainstream) ink stamp in his drawings from 1967 onwards, mocking official stamps used by bureaucracy, as well as changing the meaning and date of his works as they were often added later. While the title of this work may suggest a relation to a musical composition, the artist in fact used the term Partitur (the German word for musical score) to encompass a wide range of different outputs on paper that often related the artist's performances. These drawings dominated Beuys's artistic practice in the mid-1960s as a result of his involvement with the Fluxus group in Düsseldorf. Although contrary to the scores used in Fluxus participatory events, usually a short, terse description of performable works, Beuys' scores remain deeply personal. They tend to be a combination of notes and sketches which cannot easily be decoded but only be fully understood by the artist.

25 Partituren hereby is possibly one of the most condensed forms of cross-referencing his own canon of works, as some of the listed titles are themselves Partituren thereby acting as references, illustrations and preparatory studies to his wider oeuvre. Documenting the height of his practice, this artwork corresponds closely to the catalogue of his exhibition Joseph Beuys II Zeichnungen von 1946-1972 at Galerie Schmela in 1973, illustrating each of the mentioned works.

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