Joseph Beuys

Iphigenia/Titus Andronicus
1985
Joseph Beuys
German, 1921–1986
photographic transparency and negative with oil paint in steel, glass, and felt frame
unnumbered, from edition of 45 plus 5 artist’s proofs
28 x 21 1/4 x 2 in. (71.1 x 54 x 5.1 cm)framed: 29 x 22 1/2 x 2 1/2 in. (73.7 x 57.2 x 6.4 cm)
Gift of the Honorable and Mrs. Thomas F. Eagleton
Accession Number: 596:1998
Place made: Theater am Turm, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Joseph Beuys made this work sixteen years after presenting two plays simultaneously on one stage: William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” and Johann von Goethe’s “Iphigenia in Tauris.” Each of the plays is rooted in ancient myths and involves several tragedies instigated by the main characters. The painted red cross binds the images together, suggesting the potential of the performance to unite the realms of idealism and realism. Beuys’s activities as a teacher, political agitator, and performer were part and parcel of his artistic work. He understood all of these elements to be social sculpture, strategies for molding and shaping the world in which we live.
Signed: unsigned
Provenance:
– 1994
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY, USA [1]
1994 – 1998The Honorable and Mrs. Thomas F. Eagleton, St. Louis, MO, USA [2]
1998 -Saint Louis Art Museum, gift of the Honorable and Mrs. Thomas F. Eagleton [3]
Notes:
The main source of this provenance is a faxed memo dated May 31, 2005 sent by Senator Thomas Eagleton of St. Louis to Sydney Norton of the Saint Louis Art Museum [SLAM document files]. Other supporting documents are noted.
[1] See auction catalog [“Contemporary Art (Part II).” Christie’s, New York, November 2, 1994, lot no. 127)].
[2] Senator Thomas Eagleton purchased the work at Christie’s, New York on November 2, 1994. See note [1].
[3] Deed of Gift dated December 23, 1998 [SLAM document files]; Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, April 14, 1999.
Alternate Title(s):
Iphigenie/Titus Andronicus
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