“Intuition” – a small box made of spruce wood – is a multiple created in 1968. It is without doubt one of the most famous editions by Joseph Beuys. The artist manually labelled every single piece himself. In total, an edition of around 12,000 signed objects was manufactured which are all dated 1968. Despite their identical layout, each of them is an original – which explains their appeal and popularity among art collectors. But what message is conveyed by the intuition box? And what meaning did it have for Beuys? Why did he take the trouble of carrying out this tremendous work?
The book provides an insight into the multiple’s development, offers possible interpretations, and presents the different variations by Beuys and by other artists. It also explores the significance of the “empty boxes” both as a motif in Beuys’s work as well as in the context of his transformative crisis in the mid-1950s.
In addition to statements by collectors, gallery owners, artists, and art critics, excerpts from Beuys’s letters to his parents – published here for the first time – reveal many other aspects relating to the reception of the multiple.