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Basic Data

Daniel Spoerri is a Swiss artist of Romanian origin who was a co-founder of the artist movement Nouveau Réalisme and is considered one of the most important representatives of object art. Spoerri founded the term ,,Eat Art" at the end of the 1960s, under which he understands the artistic examination of "everything that is edible or seems edible".

  • Born: 27 March 1930
  • Place of birth: Galaţi, Romania
  • Nationality: Swiss/ Romanian
  • Studied: classic Dance and Pantomime in Zurich
  • Era: Contemporary Art
  • Stylistic direction: Food art




Daniel Spoerri was born, as Daniel Isaac Feinstein, on March 27, 1930 in Galaţi (Romania). He and his parents lived the first years in Romania until Spoerris father Isaac Feinstein was murdered by the Nazis. Then his mother Lydia Feinstein-Spoerri escaped in 1942 with her son to Switzerland. Spoerris mother was Swiss-born and after the escape they lived with her brother Theophil Spoerri in Zurich. He adopted the artist later and Spoerri took on his name.


Studies and dance career

The young Spoerri was a commercial apprentice. After this he worked in various jobs to finance his maintenance. Among other things, he was a bookseller, photographer and seller of food. Later in 1949 he began to study the classical dance and pantomime. He studied in Zurich and Paris. In 1954 he completed his studies and worked successfully as a dancer at the Stadttheater in Bern. There he danced mostly avant-garde-plays and made a name in the dancer scene. During this time Spoerri made his first experiences with art in the form of several short films. His initial attempts left impression on many acquaintances like Meret Oppenheim and Dieter Roth.


Teaching activity

Spoerri was between 1978 and 1982 professor for three-dimensional presentation at Kölner Werkschulen. Later, he was appointed to the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich and taught there until 1989.




Motives und Themes

Daniel Spoerri was one of the most famous contemporary Swiss artists. He was the inventor of the so-called Eat-Art and one of the Swiss object-artists.

In 1959, Spoerri moved to Paris in order to establish himself as an artist. There he met various artists like Yves Klein and Man Ray and he dealt with the art of the French representatives of object-art. In Paris he made his first object-art. In the same year, Spoerri founded the Edition MAT (Multiplication d'Art Transformable). The Edition MAT was the first edition, which showed reproduced objects (Multiples). This art-form is very common nowadays. Numerous artists such as Christo, Heinz Mack and Marcel Duchamp were shown in the Edition MAT with their works.

In 1960 Spoerri founded the artist group Nouveau Réalisme in France together with Pierre Restany, Yves Klein and Raimond Hains. Spoerri and other artists of the group dedicated to the world-famous snare-pictures (tableaux pièges). The snare-picture showed a kind of snapshot of an everyday occurrence, like a meal. By alienation of objects, the viewers were trapped. Through this, a different view was given to everyday objects. Spoerris art should be directed by chance, so that the viewer finds himself in a familiar situation.

In 1961 Spoerri was part of the exhibition The Art of Assemblage at MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) New York. The museum bought one of his works (Kichkas Frühstück I) and from then Spoerri had a value of international recognition.

1968 Spoerri opened the Restaurant der Sieben Sinne in Dusseldorf. In addition he opened the new founded Eat-Art-Gallery. Spoerris idea of Eat-Art emerged from his snare-pictures. Spoerri put food to artistic, by fixing and adding other materials he developed this contemporary art direction. This made it possible, that food and drinks became part of the art scene. The viewer could see them in a different way in the room. For Spoerri it was important to capture a part of everyday events in his works. He looked at eating and drinking as a piece of a cycle. Spoerris theme of food should take a closer look in the question of eating habits and taste. In Spoerris restaurant several actions and performances by artists like Joseph Beuys took place. In the Eat-Art-Gallery Spoerri continued to several banquets, where his art was shown. In 1972 the restaurant closed.

To expand his Eat-Art, he created a number of Brotteigobjekte in the 1970s. Among these you can see a merging of different everyday objects and bread dough. Spoerri baked objects like electric irons or car seats with dough together in the oven. So the bread debouched his own way through the small openings to swell. He alienated the food and the object of their actual function.

After giving up his German restaurants and the Eat-Art-Gallery, he moved to Tuscany. There he opened the artists garden Il Giardino. Spoerri made numerous sculptures for this overwhelming sculpture garden and he is currently constantly working to expand this. Also other artists are shown in the 14 -hectare estate.

In 1998 Spoerri was author of the book Anekdoten zu einer Topographie des Zufalls (anecdotes about a topography of chance). Spoerri examined everyday objects such as coins and bottles at their origin and meaning, and commented this with sleek anecdotes.

Since 2007 Spoerri lived and worked in Vienna. In Austria he has revived his old Eat-Art-Idea again. In 2009 he opened an Eat-Art-Restaurant and an exhibition space in in two houses on the market square in Hadersdorf am Kamp. The exhibition hall is named Ab-Art.



Current exhibitions

  • 29.07.2023 – 08.08.2023 Life in Pictures. A portrait of seeing for Rudolf Zwirner – PalaisPopulaire, Berlin.
  • 14.06.2023 – 01.10.2023 House of Dreamers – Baghossian Foundation, Brussels.
  • 24.05.2023 – 17.09.2023 Herausragend! Das Relief von Rodin bis Picasso – Städel Museum, Frankfurt.


Past exhibitions

  • 2023 Camoca Part I – Biogena Kunstforum, Salzburg.
  • 2022 Kollaborationen - MUMOK Wien, Vienna.
  • 2022 Minimalism and Conceptual Art - Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • 2021 POP ART: From Warhol to Panamarenko - S.M.A.K. Ghent.
  • 2021 Daniel Spoerri - THE OBJECT'S THEATER – Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nizza.
  • 2021 Sammlung Miessl – Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt.
  • 2021 Daniel Spoerri. Ein Museum der Unordnung – Langen Foundation, Neuss.
  • 2021 So wie wir sind 3.0 – Weserburg Bremen.
  • 2021 Arcimboldo Face to Face - Centre Pompidou-Metz, Paris.
  • 2021 wild/schön - Kunsthalle Emden.
  • 2020 Impasse Ronsin. Murder, Love, and Art in the Heart of Paris - Museum Tinguely, Basel.
  • 2020 IN ALLER MUNDE ... - Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.
  • 2020 MISFITTING TOGETHER – MUMOK Wien, Vienna.
  • 2020 … von Brot, Wein, Autos, Sicherheit und Frieden – Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna.
  • 2020 Amuse-bouche. The Taste of Art – Museum Tinguely, Basel.
  • 2019 So wie wir sind 1.0 - Weserburg Bremen.
  • 2018 Ausstellen des Ausstellens - Kunsthalle Baden-Baden.
  • 2017 The Everywhere Studio - ICA Miami.
  • 2017 Die Kraft des Alters - Belvedere, Vienna.
  • 2017 Economize! On the Relationship of Art and Economy - Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest.
  • 2017 Art Into Life! Collector Wolfgang Hahn and the 60s - Museum Ludwig Köln, Cologne.
  • 2017 DAS ABENTEUER UNSERER SAMMLUNG II - Kunstmuseen Krefeld.
  • 2016 L’arte differente: MOCAK al MAXXI - MAXXI Rome.
  • 2016 Kunst in Europa 1945–1968 - ZKM | Karlsruhe.
  • 2016 An Imagined Museum. Works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections - Centre Pompidou-Metz.
  • 2016 Take Me (I’m Yours) - The Jewish Museum, New York City.
  • 2016 DIE SPRACHE DER DINGE. Materialgeschichten aus der Sammlung - Belvedere, Vienna.
  • 2016 MARCEL DUCHAMP. Dada e Neo-Dada - Museo Comunale d´Arte Moderna, Ascona.
  • 2015 Dark Ages - AEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels.
  • 2015 An Imagined Museum. Works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections - Tate Liverpool.
  • 2015 CRU (RAW): food, transformation and art - Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasilia.
  • 2015 KUNST FÜR ALLE. Multiples, Grafiken, Aktionen aus der Sammlung Staeck – Akademie der Künste, Berlin
  • 2015 ZERO. Let us Explore the Stars – Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
  • 2014 Hans im Glück. Kunst und Kapital – Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg.
  • 2013 Waschrumpel – LEVY Galerie, Hamburg.
  • 2012 Wunderbar – Kunstmuseum, Winterthur.
  • 2011 Schönheit und Vergänglichkeit – Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg.
  • 2010 Daniel Spoerri. Ein Augenblick für eine Ewigkeit – Kunsthalle, Krems.
  • 2009 Eaten by... – Ludwig Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz.
  • 2009 6. art Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe.
  • 2009 Die Kunst ist Super! – Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin.
  • 2008 Ad Absurdum. Energien des Absurden von der klassischen Moderne zur Gegenwart – MARTa Herford Museum, Herford.
  • 2007 Not by Chance – Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato.
  • 2006 Daniel Spoerri. Retrospektive – Kunstsammlung Neubrandenburg.
  • 2005 EXIT. Ausstieg aus dem Bild – ZKM, Karlsruhe.
  • 2005 Daniel Spoerri – Galerie La Nuova Pesa, Rome.
  • 2002-04 Der Zufall als Meister – Stadt Galerie, Klagenfurt; Kunsthaus, Vienna; Kunstverein, Lingen; Ludwig Museum, Budapest.
  • 2001 Wertwechsel. Zum Wert des Kunstwerks – Museum für angewandte Kunst, Cologne.
  • 1999 ROTE LIEBE – Raab Galerie, Berlin.
  • 1999 Deep Storage – Stiftung Museum Kunstplast, Dusseldorf.
  • 1998 Ein Bild (Der Wolfspelz) – Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
  • 1998 Karneval der Tiere – Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel.
  • 1994 Das Jahrhundert des Multiple. Von Duchamp bis zur Gegenwart – Deichtorhallen, Hamburg.
  • 1992 Eaten by... – Galerie Klaus Littmann, Basel.
  • 1991 Corps en morceaux – Galerie Raab, Berlin.
  • 1990 Daniel Spoerri. Retrospektive – Centre Pompidou, Paris; Städtische Galerie Lehnbachhaus, Munich.
  • 1989 Le Musée Sentimental de Bâle – Gewerbemuseum, Basel.
  • 1987 Bronze und Teppiche – Galerie Inge Baecker, Cologne.
  • 1986 Les Nouveaux Rélistes – Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris; Kunsthalle Mannheim; Kunsthalle Winterthur.
  • 1983 Der Verdauungsweg des Menschen – Ausstellung mit Studenten der Sommerakademie, Salzburg.
  • 1981 Daniel Spoerri. Arbeiten seit 1963 – Modern Art Galerie, Vienna.
  • 1978 Faszination des Objekts – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Vienna.
  • 1977 Le Musée Sentimental – Centre Pompidou, Paris.
  • 1974 Ambiente 74 – Kunstmuseum Winterthur.
  • 1971 Multiples. The first Decade – Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.
  • 1970 10 Anni Nouveau Réalisme – Rotonda della Besana, Milan.
  • 1969 Gegenverkehr – Kunstverein, Aachen.
  • 1967 MAT and MAT MOT – Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne.
  • 1965 Daniel Spoerri’s Room No. 631 at the Chelsea Hotel – The Green Gallery, New York City.
  • 1963 bis das Ei hart gekocht ist – Galerie Zwirner, Dusseldorf.
  • 1960 Festival d’Art d’Avantgarde – Pavillon Américan, Paris.
  • 1959 Edition MAT (Multiplication d’Art Transformable) – Galerie Edourd Loeb, Paris.



  • 2016: Lovis-Corinth-Price
  • 2015 Silbernes Komturkreuz des Ehrenzeichens für Verdienste um das Bundesland Niederösterreich
  • 2009 Premio Michelangelo, Carrara
  • 2008 Eckart Witzigmann-Preis
  • 2008 Abrogino d’Oro, Milan
  • 1993 Grand Prix National de la Sculpture, France
  • 1975 Artist in Residence, San Francisco



  • Daniel Spoerri. Jeteur d’Objects, Rolf Wäber, France/Switzerland 1993, ‚’58.
  • Les Nouveaux Réalistes, Adrian Maben, Germany 1989, ’60.
  • Le Manège de Petit Pierre, Daniel Spoerri/Marie-Louise Plessen, Germany 1979, ‚’10.



  • Il Spoerri. Oder es gibt, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Hamburg, Bielefeld/Berlin 2015.
  • Daniel Spoerri. Waschbretter, Waschrumpeln, Waschrubbeln, Wash Board, exhibition catalogue, LEVY Hamburg, Bielefeld 2013.
  • Historia rerum rariorum. Daniel Spoerri, exhibition catalogue, Museumsberg Flensburg, Bielefeld 2013.
  • Daniel Spoerri. Weißt Du, schwarzt Du?, exhibition catalogue, Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Bielefeld 2010.
  • Daniel Spoerri. Von den Fallenbildern zu den Prillwitzer Idolen, exhibition catalogue, Kunsthalle Jesuitenkirche Aschaffenburg, Bielefeld 2010.
  • Daniel Spoerri. Ein Augenblick für eine Ewigkeit, exhibition catalogue, Kunsthalle Krems, Nuremberg 2010.
  • Daniel Spoerri. Der Zufall als Meister, Thomas Levy, Bielefeld 2003.
  • Anekdotomania. Daniel Spoerri über Daniel Spoerri, Daniel Spoerri, Ostfildern/Ruit 2001.
  • Daniel Spoerri beschreibt 54 Werke, Daniel Spoerri, Basel 2001.


Own writings

  • Daniel Spoerri: Nouveau Réalisme, Vienna 2005.
  • Daniel Spoerri: Anekdotomania. Daniel Spoerri über Daniel Spoerri, Ostfildern/Ruit 2001.
  • Daniel Spoerri: Journal Gastronomique, Geneva 1998.
  • Daniel Spoerri. Gastronomisches Tagebuch, Hamburg 1995.