50 x 100 x 8 cm (aufgeklappt)
2-part mirror on wood with various objects affixed
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by Sammlung Rolf und Friedel Gutmann
Multiplicateur d'art [Art multiplier]
Art into life! This slogan from the 1960s is a fitting motto for the entire oeuvre of Daniel Spoerri’s (born 1930 in Galati, Romania). After his Romanian father was killed by the Fascist regime, his Swiss mother moved with him and siblings to Zurich in 1942. While training to become a dancer in Zurich, he got to know Jean Tinguely, and the two became cofounders of the Nouveau Réalistes, together with Yves Klein and other artists. This group demanded that art should be directly connected to everyday reality. The same year of the foundation of the Nouveau Réalistes in Paris, Spoerri, who was already a successful dancer, director, and editor of a magazine for Concrete poetry, created the first of his “snare-pictures,” thereby laying the foundations for his artistic career. These snare-pictures are assemblages of objects that he attaches to their support in the order he found them before vertically mounting the entire construction on the wall. Along with his famous “frozen” table settings, left behind after a meal, Spoerri also transfixes other collections of objects from everyday and spontaneous situations in a permanent artistic form.
Found objects and bric-a-brac from flea markets also play a role in other series of works by the artist. However, his goal to achieve a proximity to reality is even more successful in his artistic concept called Eat Art, which is also a commentary on the art world. For example, in 1963, he organized a banquet for an exhibition in the Galerie J in Paris in which he acted as chef, employed art critics as waiters, and turned the festive table into a “snare-picture” afterwards. Spoerri still organizes dinners of this kind, though often with a special motto. Between 1968 and 1972, he also managed the Restaurant Spoerri in Düsseldorf, where he would transform a culinary evening into a snare-picture on request. In 1970, Spoerri opened the Eat Art Galerie above the restaurant, where he presented food-art created by his friends, who include Joseph Beuys, Bernhard Luginbühl, and Roy Lichtenstein.
Edition MAT, which Spoerri founded in 1959 and was later taken over by Karl Gerstner, was also a milestone of art history. The goal of Edition MAT was to offer art at affordable prizes. Thanks to this initiative, the first “multiples” – multiple editions of three dimensional artworks – were developed. MAT stands for “multiplication d’art transformable” and refers to the fact that many of the objects were kinetic or changeable. Spoerri’s work “Multiplicateur d’art,” which is now in the collection of the Haus Konstruktiv, is also from Edition MAT. As is typical for Spoerri, he created the work using everyday objects, which are presented in a mirror-inverted arrangement of pairs on two mirrors, thus doubling the reflection while also integrating beholders in the work.