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Joseph Beuys

Untitled

pencil on paper
1960
21 x 14,6 cm / 8 1/4 x 5 3/4 in.
verso signed and dated

The Codices Madrid are a collection of folios with notes, sketches and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, bound in two volumes. Although it was known since 19th century that the codices were supposed in the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, they could not be found. In 1967 they were found by chance an in 1974 published as facsimiles. The folios of the codices show the large bandwidth of Leonardo’s interests. Beuys was fascinated by the drawings, which he studied intensely, and recognized a certain kinship to his own work. In 1974 he created a portfolio of 12 granolithographs of drawings. Beuys submitted to the restraint of a uniform size, predetermined by the quarto format of the original.“ In the present folio, an original drawing, that was used as a template for one of the granolithographs of the portfolio, two organic shapes strain towards a dark plane, which stands above everything as a force field. Here the kinship with Leonardo comes full circle, for he also marked flows of energy in his drawings of machines and flowing water.

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