Henri Chopin, Jean Dupuy, John Furnival, Dick Higgins, Various artists, La Livre III, La Livre, 1989, Paint, pencil, crayons, magnetic tape on paper, canvas, paperboard, stencil, 35 × 25 × 7 cm, Edition of 11 plus IV AP
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Henri Chopin, Jean Dupuy, John Furnival, Dick Higgins, La Livre III, La Livre, 1989, Edition of 10. "La Livre III" is comprised of 1 cover signed by all artists, 10 collages by Henri Chopin, 10 collages/drawings by Jean Dupuy, 10 paintings/stencils by John Furnival, (when placed all together they create a unique work), and 5 drawings/collages by Dick Higgins. Paint, pencil, crayons, magnetic tape on paper, canvas, paperboard, stencil 35 × 25 cm (13 ¾ × 9 ⅞ inches) Box dimensions: 37,9 x 28,8 x 13,9 cm The edition was made in 1989 in Brunnenburg Castle, Merano, Italy. Courtesy of Archivio Conz, Berlin 2024
  • Paint, pencil, crayons, magnetic tape on paper, canvas, paperboard, stencil
  • 35 × 25 × 7 cm
    (13 ¾ × 9 ⅞ × 2 ¾ inches)
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  • Henri Chopin was a French poet, typographer, musician, independent publisher, and a pioneer of sound and concrete poetry. A vanguardist artist, he is most known for liberating sound and language from typographical conventions, notably through his dactylpoème (typewriter poems) and audio-poémes. Born into a family of artists, Chopin received a liberal education until the height of World War II, when he was deported to a labor camp in Königsberg, East Prussia. He fled the Soviet Union to France in 1945, eventually enrolling in the army from 1948 to 1950, which took him to Austria and Indochina. Back in Paris, Chopin approached avant-garde poetics and the “oral” experimental poetry from Czechoslovakia, Russia, Poland, and the Baltics. A significant influence and collaborator, Jean Ratcliffe, whom he married in 1952, introduced him to Bernard Heidsieck, Ladislav Novak, and Raoul Hausmann, among others. Between 1958 and 1974, Chopin edited and designed an international journal of experimental concrete and sound poetry, originally called Cinquième Saison, but now known as OU. Chopin’s performances and recordings emphasize the organicity of the human anatomy and its reverberating effects on the outside. From nasal vibrations to guttural cries or infamously swallowing a probe for La Digestion (1974), his explorations of human noise obliterate the tone between inside and outside, chaos and harmony further manipulated and pioneered through studio and tape recorder experiments. An “éminence grise,” as Francesco Conz described him, Chopin’s poetry found a home in Conz’s support and enthusiasm for multiples. Chopin’s notable publications include Le dernier roman du monde (1961), Le homard cosmographique (1965), Poésie Sonore Internationale (1979), Les Riches Heures de l‘Alphabet (1992) and Graphpoemesmachine (2006) published by Archivio Conz. Throughout his career, he exhibited and performed internationally at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (1974), the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1983), the ICA, London (2009), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012), the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2013), and the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2017).
  • Jean Dupuy was a French artist, an experimenter in art and technology, and a bold affiliate of Fluxus. He began his career in Paris, training as an architect at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts but soon shifted to painting, approaching the visual research of abstrait lyrique. Sensitive to the French orientations of poetry and performance art of François Dufrêne, Brion Gysin, Bernard Heidsieck, and Robert Filliou, as well as to the expressive tonalities of Yves Klein and Georges Mathieu, Dupuy’s career as a painter was particularly successful but, in his own eyes, unsatisfactory. In 1967, he destroyed his canvases and left Paris to move to New York. The following year, Dupuy realized Cone Pyramid (Heart Beats Dust), a parallelepiped of wood and glass, inside which a small cluster of red pigment is deposited over an elastic membrane, illuminated by a cone of light. Using a stethoscope, the viewer’s heartbeat activates the column of red dust, causing it to convulse rhythmically in the air. In 1968, the sculpture won the Experiments in Art and Technology competition and was presented that same year as part of the landmark exhibition The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and simultaneously in the exhibition Some More Beginnings at the Brooklyn Museum. In the early 1970s, Dupuy began performing collectively with numerous New York-based artists. He organized performances at the Judson Memorial Church, the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, and the Louvre. Events such as “Soup & Tart” at The Kitchen included contributions by Philip Glass, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Joan Jonas. In his Grommet Studio in New York, he hosted a series of performances and concerts, documented in the catalog Collective Consciousness: Art Performances in the Seventies (1980). On the occasion of a group exhibition at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 1976, he met George Maciunas and became involved in Fluxus, participating in numerous related events. Dupuy returned to France in 1984, settling in the hinterland of Nice. His book Ypudu, Anagrammiste, published that same year, is his first collection of anagrams and word games. Between 1988 and 1991, Dupuy spent six months in Verona with Francesco Conz. Together, they produced a series of editions entirely dedicated to wordplay and phonograms. Dupuy’s works are included in some of the most prestigious institutional collections, such as those of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Musée d’art contemporain in Lyon. His works have been shown in exhibitions at the Fondazione Mudima in Milan (1990), the Frac Bretagne (2014), the Frac Bourgogne (2016), and the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain de Nice (2007, 2015, 2016).
  • John Furnival was a British artist, a leading figure of visual and concrete poetry since the 1960s, and a beloved teacher in the community around the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham. Between 1954 and 1957, he served in the National Service, receiving Russian lessons in Scotland and then working as a translator at the War Office in Whitehall. He later studied at the Royal College of Art in London (1957–59) with David Hockney and R. B. Kitaj. In 1960, Furnival moved to Gloucestershire to teach at the Cheltenham School of Fine Art and Stroud College. That same year, he married the textile artist and fervent collaborator Astrid Belling. In the following years until 1998, Furnival taught at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham and then at the Bath School of Art and Design. With contemporaries such as Tom Phillips, Hansjörg Mayer, and Ron King, he played an active role as an educator during an influential and innovative era of experimentation in the fields of literature, typography, and the performative arts. In 1963, together with Dom Silvester Houédard (a.k.a. dsh) and Edward Wright, Furnival founded Openings Press (OP), specializing in the dissemination of concrete and visual poetry of peers such as Ian Hamilton Finlay. Other presses followed, such as Satie’s Faction in honor of the composer Erik Satie and the Openings-Closings Press. Alongside the calligraphic quality of his letters and words, Furnival’s work is characterized by drawing. He described himself as a draughtsman of landscapes, characters, and wordscapes created by marking letters, words, sentences, or long passages on paper, cardboard, or large screens. Furnival favored the recurring themes of the tower and the maze developed with infinitesimal precision. Examples are his exceptional The Fall of the Tower of Babel (1963), now part of the permanent collection of the MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, and his elaborate works on panels, such as Europa and Her Bull (1966), acquired by the Arts Council of Great Britain. Between 1979 and 2010, John and Astrid Furnival made several trips to Italy, exhibiting in acclaimed institutions and often residing with Francesco Conz. Since 1965, Furnival participated in significant exhibitions, such as Between Poetry and Painting at the ICA – Institute of Contemporary Art in London, later appearing in the seminal anthologies Concrete Poetry – An International Anthology (1967), edited by Stephen Bann, and Anthology of Concrete Poetry (1967), edited by Emmett Williams for Something Else Press. His works are included in the collections of the Tate and the British Museum in London, as well as in the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry in Miami Beach. He has participated in numerous exhibitions at international institutions in the United States, France, Italy, and Russia.
  • Dick Higgins was an influential artist, poet, editor, and—more than anything else—a prolific theorist of experimental arts. His relentless inquisitiveness and nurtured enthusiasm made him one of the most distinctive personalities of the avant-garde movements. He studied at Yale and then Columbia University, where he earned his BA in English (1960), and later received his MA in English Literature from New York University (1977). He also attended the Manhattan School of Printing, followed by studies at The New School in New York, where, like many of his contemporaries, he was mentored by John Cage and influenced by Dada. Higgins was an instigator of Happenings and a co-founder of Fluxus, together with George Maciunas, George Brecht, Jackson Mac Low, and his wife Allison Knowles. Among his musical experiments, the Danger Music scores series investigates an extreme concept of music which, by its harsh expression, holds potential danger for both the performer and the audience. His Twelve Metadramas (1987), composed of minimal emotional and narrative statements, challenges the pragmatism of traditional scores and contributes as humorous experimentation in the fields of literature and performance. In 1963, Higgins founded Something Else Press, a publishing house responsible for promoting and disseminating the works of highly acclaimed artists and writers of the twentieth century, including Gertrude Stein, Ray Johnson, and Dieter Roth. With the first issue of the Something Else Press Newsletter in 1965, Higgins coined the term “intermedia” as a possibility of naming artistic approaches that did not limit their field of operation to a question of artistic media but rather tended to elude established norms and categories. With the short and affordable publication series A Great Bear Pamphlet, designed for wide circulation, he promoted the writings of many significant Fluxus artists. Higgins also made remarkable contributions to educational institutions as a faculty member of the California Institute of Arts in Valencia and a panel member of the New York State Council on the Arts. He received a DAAD scholarship for a sojourn in Berlin (1981–82) and a Pollock-Krasner grant (1993). A substantial retrospective was held at the Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter (1995) in Høvikodden, Norway. His works can be found in numerous private and public collections, including those of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in Vienna.

Artworks (15)