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7000 eichen (7000 oaks)



Joseph Beuys


12 May 1921 – 23 Jan 1986

No image
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Place where the work was made
    Media category
    Materials used
    basalt stone, Moreton Bay fig tree
    display dimensions variable :

    a - basalt stone, 151.3 x 23.5 x 21.5 cm

    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of René Block with assistance from Anita and Luca Belgiorno-Nettis 2022
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Joseph Beuys/VG Bild-Kunst. Copyright Agency
    Artist information
    Joseph Beuys

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Joseph Beuys was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and a key proponent of the Fluxus movement. He was a theorist, teacher and activist whose artistic practice reflected a deep engagement with politics, social and cultural issues, and the environment.

    For Documenta 7 in 1982 Beuys invited the citizens of Kassel to plant 7000 trees throughout the city as part of his 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt stadtverwaltung (7000 Oaks – City forestation instead of city administration) project. Each tree was paired with a basalt stone marker, the first of which were planted by Beuys on 16 March 1982. The artist intended 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) to be an ongoing social sculpture movement that would extend his philosophy of urban renewal around the world. Tree and stone installations took place in several other cities, including Sydney, before the project was officially concluded in 1987. The Sydney tree was planted by curator Rene Block at the fifth Biennale of Sydney in 1984. The final tree was planted during the opening of Documenta 8 in June 1987 by Wenzel, the artist’s son. Beuys, who passed away in 1986, did not witness the event. The oak trees and stones still stand in Kassel today and have become an important part of the urban landscape. The Sydney tree, which has recently been re-joined by the basalt stone gifted by Block, is similarly a significant marker of place and of a dawning environmental awareness among contemporary artists.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Joseph Beuys

See all 56 works