Involved Artists:

Marina Abramovic (Serbia), Eva Aeppli (CH), Allora & Calzadilla (US), Pablo Azul (Colombia), John Baldessari (US), Matthew Barney (US), Boltanski Christian (FR), Louise Bourgeois (FR), Joan Brossa (ES), Franz Burkhardt (DE), Maurizio Cattelan (IT), Douglas Coupland (CA), Chicks On Speed (), Critical Art Ensemble (), Niki de Saint Phalle (), Tacita Dean (), Olafur Eliason (), Karl Gerstner (CH), Gilbert & George (UK), Gonzalez Foerster Dominique (), González Torres Félix (), Dan Graham (), Sabine Gross (), Heinz Mack (DE), Damien Hirst (UK), Shere Hite (US), Yong Ping Huang (), Daniel Imboden (CH), Cristina Iglesias (ES), Koo Jeong-A (), Illya Kabakov (), Alison Knowles (), Peter Kogler (AT), Job Koelewijn (NL), Jiri Kolar (), Julius Koller (), Andreas Kopp (NL), Bertrand Lavier (FR), Sol Lewitt (US), Naroa Lizar Redrado (ES), Aníbal López (), Aníbal López (), Kasimir Malewitsch (), Christian Marclay (), Ernesto Neto (), Yoko Ono (), Jorge Palacios (ES), Tadej Pogacar & P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum (), David Reed (), Michelangelo Pistoletto (IT), Tobias Rehberger (), Pipilotti Rist (), Tom Sachs (), Tomas Schmit (), Thomas Schutte (), Shimabuku (), Andreas Slominski (), Nancy Spero (), Daniel Spoerri (CH), Anonymous (), Serge Stauffer (), Paul Talman (), Jean Tinguely (CH), Joaquín Torres-García (), Günther Uecker (), Andy Warhol (), Yvaral (), Erwin Wurm (AUT)

The Project

Art that produces art or that anyone can produce is “do-it-yourself art”. The work of art is reproducible by design; artists write instructions on its use or create objects with which anyone can reproduce works of art as often as they like. Do-it-yourself art is art rendered democratic, shorn of its mystic aura and the artist’s status as a solitary creative genius. “Everyone is an artist”, said Joseph Beuys in 1985, referring to his ideas on “social sculpture” and the extended concept of art by which everybody can help shape society by contributing creatively.
The exhibition organized by Littmann Cultural Projects displays some 50 objects that explore the phenomenon of do-it-yourself art, requiring public participation to bring the mechanics and fascination of this art form vividly to life. Viewers are transformed into artists and artists into viewers. Do-it-yourself art began in the 1920s with the “ready-mades” of Marcel Duchamp. His 1917 installation “Fountain”, consisting of a urinal resting on a pedestal, showed that what counted was not the artist’s manual skills but the context in which a work of art had been selected or had come about. It thus paved the way for do-it-yourself art.
Further contributions came from Jean Tinguely in his “Mes étoiles – concept pour sept peintures”, from Nikki de St. Phalle and Kasimir Malevich, another pillar of the do-it-yourself art movement, whose 1915 “Black Square” heralded the emergence and development of do-it-yourself art in the 20th century. “Now the production of art”, he wrote, “has been simplified to such an extent that one can do no better than order one’s paintings by telephone from a house painter while one is lying in bed.” (Nowhere in the history of art do we come closer than this to the thinking behind do-it-yourself art, especially as it is both a clearly stated guideline and also the Suprematist movement’s basic approach to modern art).
Littmann’s “Do it yourself art” show is divided into three thematically related sections. Visitors have an opportunity to be actively creative themselves – and even, in the case of Austrian artist Erwin Wurm’s objects, to become an integral part of one of his “One Minute Sculptures”. In another section, visitors receive instructions on use from artists, for instance from Daniel Spoerri’s “Brevet de garantie tableau piège”. In addition, works are, for the first time, actively produced on site, transforming visitors into witnesses to the do-it-yourself act. As a homage to the “ready made”, 15 prominent citizens of Madrid show their favourite ready-mades, displaying them on bases so as to give them the character of a do-it-yourself artefact.

Press Review: