Daniel Spoerri


Beautiful Daniel Spoerri exhibition catalogue published in 1972 on the occasion of his exhibition at Zurich Kunstgesellschaft – Helmhaus Zurich, April 16 to May 22. Includes detailed biographical notes on Spoerri, a conversation about Spoerri in the CNAC by Claus Bremer, numerous illustrations of his sculptural works, a full list of works, and a detailed chronology and bibliography of Spoerri. Comes with the enclosed seperate prints from the artist’s glossary of Switzerland XX. and “The Mythological Travels…”, Emmett Williams’ “Preface to the Translation of the Symi-Cycle” (8 pages).

Daniel Spoerri (born 27 March 1930 in Galați) is a Swiss artist and writer born in Romania. Spoerri is best known for his “snare-pictures,” a type of assemblage or object art, in which he captures a group of objects, such as the remains of meals eaten by individuals, including the plates, silverware and glasses, all of which are fixed to the table or board, which is then displayed on a wall. He also is widely acclaimed for his book, Topographie Anécdotée* du Hasard (An Anecdoted Topography of Chance), a literary analog to his snare-pictures, in which he mapped all the objects located on his table at a particular moment, describing each with his personal recollections evoked by the object, with illustrations by the great Roland Topor. In the 1950s he was active in dance, studying classical dance with Olga Preobrajenska and in 1954 becoming the lead dancer at the State Opera of Bern, Switzerland. He later staged several avant-garde plays including Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano and Picasso’s surrealist Desire Trapped by the Tail. During that period he met a number of Surrealist artists, including Meret Oppenheim, Jean Tinguely, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, and also a number of artists subsequently associated with the Fluxus movement, including Robert Filliou, Dieter Roth and Emmett Williams. Closely associated with the Fluxus art movement, a movement “characterized by a strongly Dadaist attitude, [whose] participants were a divergent group of individualists whose most common theme was their delight in spontaneity and humor.” It has been said that his Anecdoted Topography of Chance “seems perfectly to embody aspects of its spirit.” Spoerri was also one of the original signers of the manifesto creating the Nouveau réalisme (New Realism) art movement, which involved artists such as Yves Klein, Arman, Martial Raysse, Pierre Restany, Niki de Saint Phalle, César, Jean Tinguely, Mimmo Rotella, Gérard Deschamps, and the Ultra-Lettrists, Francois Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Jacques de la Villeglé, an avant garde endeavor begun in 1960. His use of everyday life as the main subject-matter of his art reflects his involvement in the New Realism movement.
A major theme of Spoerri’s artwork is food, and he has called this aspect of his work “Eat Art.” This is seen not only in his snare-pictures of eaten meals, but in a variety of other contexts. For example, in 1961 he sold in an art-gallery in Copenhagen store-bought canned food which he had signed and rubber-stamped “Attention: Work of Art.” In 1963, he enacted a sort of performance art called Restaurant de la Galerie J in Paris, for which he cooked on several evenings. Art-critics took over the role of waiters, playing on the idea of the critic bringing the art to the consumers and giving them an understanding of the work. On June 18, 1968, Spoerri opened the Restaurant Spoerri in Düsseldorf, and on September 18, 1970, he opened the Eat-Art-Gallery upstairs.He also published in 1970 a diary of his life on the Greek island of Symi, in which he included numerous recipes of the dishes he ate there. Originally titled A Gastronomic Itinerary, it was later republished under the title Mythology & Meatballs.

* Condition: Good (light cover crease/wear, light edge tanning, otherwise tight and clean throughout) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Daniel Spoerri (Zürich Kunstgesellschaft, 1972)
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