Joseph Beuys, German, 1921 - 1986
Explore the Collections
A World War II pilot who was shot down in Russia, Joseph Beuys described his mythical rescue by a small community of nomadic Tatars as the defining moment in his life as an artist, claiming that the nomads kept him alive and warm by wrapping him in felt and rubbing fat into his skin. For Beuys, one of the most important artists of the second half of the twentieth century, felt and fat came to signify survival as well as physical and spiritual nourishment, and these materials pervade his work. In Felt Suit, he evokes the absent figure of the artist as a healer, capable of caring for and transforming his audience and society.
* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.