SPOERRI, Daniel. Edition MAT: multiplication d’oeuvres d’art.

(Paris): Galerie Edouard Loeb, [1959]. First edition. Single volume measuring 17 x 50 cm, folded to 17 x 26 cm. Unpaginated. Edition MAT was founded by Daniel Spoerri with the intention to produce what he called “multiplied original works”, each capable of continuous change. Spoerri recognized that readily distributable art forms, so integral to historical avant-gardes — from Dada and Duchamp to Constructivism to the Bauhaus — were becoming newly relevant for his contemporaries. Assuming the roles of curator, manufacturer and publisher, Spoerri codified a range of different artistic approaches and genuinely sought to expand the notion of art and its role in society by producing domestically scaled, affordable objects that encouraged viewer participation. For Spoerri, what mattered was not the rareness of an object but the uniqueness of the artist’s idea. The catalogue here is from the first exhibition of Edition MAT which took place at Galerie Edouard Loeb, November 27 – December 19, 1959. Works were offered by Yaacov Agam, Pol Bury, Marcel Duchamp, Dieter Roth, Jesus Rafael Soto, Jean Tinguely and Victor Vasarely all in editions of 100 and priced 20, 000 French francs. In large part spurred by Spoerri’s efforts, the multiple emerged as an international phenomenon in the mid-1960s and 1970s, serving as both art object and vehicle for democratizing art through ready distribution. Keyed to an economic and cultural context of mass production and consumption, the multiple delineated a strategic position for artists grappling with the shifting socioeconomic conditions of a rapidly expanding consumer culture in Western Europe and the United States. A very good copy in stapled black wrappers. A nice example of this rare catalogue of this seminal project in the history of postwar art. WorldCat records a single copy in the USA at MoMA.


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