The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Arts Center Relations

Art by Daniel Spoerri will be on display at UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Some 40 assemblages by the Romanian-Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri will be on display in the University of Iowa Museum of Art Nov. 16-Jan. 26.

In conjunction with the exhibition, curator Estera Milman will discuss "Daniel Spoerri: The Cultural Strategies of 'detrompe l'oeil'" as part of the weekly Perspectives series at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, in the museum.

The exhibition, "La Medecine operatoire dessinee d'apres nature par N.H. Jacob (1839)" ("Operative medicine drawn after nature by N.H. Jacob") is named after a 19th-century medical text that included drawings by Jacob, who studied with the painter Jacques-Louis David.

To create his pieces, Spoerri juxtaposed intricate arrangements of found objects -- bones, feathers, machine parts, fishhooks, lace and embroideries -- with Jacob's engravings of medical procedures.

The assemblages represent an approach that Spoerri calls "detrompe l'oeil." Spoerri's technique is derived from the tradition of "trompe l'oeil" (fool the eye) painting, in which an artist attempts to portray an object so realistically that the viewer is fooled into thinking he or she is looking at a real object.

In Spoerri's works, this tradition of fooling the viewer is extended by combining objects that are real with highly realistic drawings by other artists, further blurring the boundary between the "real" and the artwork.

Spoerri came to this approach gradually. Around 1960 he began placing everyday objects within the context of fine art. He became known on the international art scene for his "tableaux-pieges" (trap pictures), tables upon which Spoerri entrapped soiled table settings and other residue of meals eaten by friends.

In addition to the assemblages, Spoerri's construction "Elefant" will be displayed, on loan from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Rayburn of Davenport, Iowa.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the museum is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center.

M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1995-96 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.