Daniel Spoerri

Born 1930 in Romania



Born 1930 in Romania

Lives and works in Vienna, Austria

Daniel Spoerri is considered an important representative of the late avant-garde and a co-founder of “Nouveau Réalisme”. He was born in 1930 in Galati, Romania, from where he fled to Zurich with his mother and siblings in 1942 after his father was murdered in the Nazi genocide. 

The artist remained without a home country living in France, the USA, Greece, Germany, Italy and Austria and, as he says himself, made rootlessness his capital. 

For Spoerri, art means stepping out of his body. Thus one of his first forms of expression was dance, after which Spoerri worked as a theatre director. In the 1960s, he created his first trap paintings, known in French as “tableaux piège”. In these, he captures a moment, like the leftovers of a meal, by fixing them on a background. Spoerri himself describes these assemblages, rotated by 90 degrees and mounted on the wall, as a “section of the world”. 

In 1969 Daniel Spoerri opened the “Restaurant Spoerri” in Düsseldorf. His interest in cuisine eventually led to “Eat art”, which became an important part of his work.

With the Musée sentimental, he rethinks his trap paintings and develops an exhibition concept from them.

In addition to an extensive register of international solo and group exhibitions, Spoerri realised several large-scale projects. From 1978 to 1982 the artist taught at the Cologne Werkschule and from 1983 to 1989 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. 

At the beginning of the 1990s, he began to realise the project Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri in southern Tuscany. The 14-hectare sculpture park opened in 1997 and now comprises 113 installations by 55 artists. In the warmer seasons, the “garden” can be visited and explored. 

In 2007, the “Ausstellungshaus Spoerri” opened in the Austrian village of Hadersdorf am Kamp, where temporary exhibitions of Spoerri’s works in dialogue with works by other artists are shown on an ongoing basis.

Selection of solo exhibitions: Langen Foundation, Hombroich, (2021) MAMAC, Nice, (2020), Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie Regensburg (on the occasion of the award of the Lovis Corinth Prize, 2016), MOCAK, Krakow (2016), Le Musée Le Carroi, Chinon, FR (2015), MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow, (2015), Museum of Natural History, Vienna, (2012), Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, (2011), Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Genoa, (2010), Ludwig Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz, DL (2009), Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, (2007), Staatliche Museum Schwerin, Schwerin, DL (2006), Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna, (2003), Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel, (1998), Centre Pompidou – Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris (1990).