Wednesday 1 December 2021

Lot 172

Joseph Beuys, German 1921-1986- Irish Energy, 1974; peat briquette and butter,...

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Lot 172

Joseph Beuys,
German 1921-1986-
Irish Energy, 1974;
peat briquette and butter,...

Price Realised: £4,940

Estimate: £4,000 - £6,000

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (30% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 172


Joseph Beuys,

German 1921-1986-

Irish Energy, 1974;

peat briquette and butter, signed, inscribed and dated 1974 on the underside, 19x7x7cm (ARR) (VAT charged on hammer price)

Provenance: Gift from the artist to a Private Collection, London; Sotheby's, London, 22nd February 1990, lot 365.

Exhibition: Feldman Gallery, New York, 1989.

Literature: Sean Rainbird 2005, p. 38 (photograph with Joseph Beuys standing behind 'Irish Energy' models)

Note: Joseph Beuys was a German artist and art theorist who exerted an immense influence on the shape of contemporary art towards the end of the 20th century and beyond. Beuys was a central member of Fluxus, an experimental interdisciplinary artistic movement which also included artists such as Yoko Ono and Nam June Paik.

The present piece demonstrates Beuyss interest in employing a range of media in the production of his work, thereby challenging the existing distinctions between genres which defined attitudes to and understandings of high art amongst many 20th-century commentators. This work is part of the installation Irish Energies, in which the artist used highly unconventional materials, in this case Scottish peat and Irish Kerrygold butter, allowing him to explore issues of place and identity.

Beuys exhibited regularly throughout his lifetime, representing Germany at the Venice Biennales of 1976 and 1980. His work was also the subject of a retrospective held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1979, and was exhibited at the Seibu Museum of Art in Tokyo in 1984

The lasting impact of Beuyss approach on the development of conceptual art to follow cannot be overstated, with pieces by the artist held in museums around the world. One of the most significant public collections of the artists work is in the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt. Many of his works are also held by Harvard University, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis


Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over £1,000 as follows:
0 to £50,000 - 4%
£50,000.01 to £200,000 - 3%
£200,000.01 to £350,000 - 1%
£350,000.01 to £500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding £500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at £12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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