Masterpieces of Multiples
18 February 2011 – 16 April 2011
Opening: 17 February 2011, 7 pm
Only seldom available as a complete set, the so-called Hofhaus-Mappe, with all 16 original works, is a sensation. Originally published in 1962/64 in a limited edition of 100 numbered copies, it offers a cross-section of the most significant artists of the time, among them influential Nouveaux Réalistes such as Arman, Tinguely and Yves Klein or the members of the artist group Zéro: Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, and Günther Uecker. The artists’ common goal was the “poeticizing of daily life.” Also in its selection of works, the refined publication followed the task of mediating the new idealistic and artistic impulses unburdened by the isms of the past.
Perceived as limited and restrictive, conventional painting with a paintbrush and paint was rejected; instead, one experimented with various technical aids: “The new process allowed us more freedom and was the vehicle to our further adventures,” states Piene. Exemplary here, the publication contains a light relief by Mack made of aluminum, a gouache-and-soot work by Piene or the imprint of a nail work, hand crafted by Uecker. Like this work, the publication itself, along with numerous screenprints was completed with additional artists’ finished works, for example a packaged edition of the magazine Der Spiegel, a Concetto spaziale by Lucio Fontana or a rice work by Oskar Holweck.
Also Dieter Roth or Joseph Beuys, for whom significant object editions in excellent qualitative thickness are shown, concerned themselves in their editions with the task of communication in the sense of “dissemination” and “mediating” artistic ideas. “Vehicles,” Beuys therefore called his multiples; of the works presented in the exhibition, the 1969 Schlitten (Sled) is certainly counted among the most exceptional and popular overall.
Highlights of multiples from the U.S. are collected in the very rarely shown publication 7 Objects/69 (Tanglewood Press, New York 1969, print run: 100), a wood box with the works of minimal and conceptual art by David Bradshaw, Eva Hesse, Stephen Kaltenbach, Bruce Nauman, Alan Saret, Richard Serra, and Keith Sonnier.
Last but not least, the exhibition shows an Austrian specialty: sought-after collection of the complete editions of the Schastrommel, published by Günter Brus, with numbers 1–17 in their original slipcases.