Claude Rutault — de-finitions/methods 1973-2016


Design, publishing, books

Claude Rutault
de-finitions/methods 1973-2016

Past: April 20 → June 3, 2023

michèle didier is pleased to invite you to the presentation of the English version of de-finitions/methods 1973-2016 by Claude Rutault which will take place on Thursday April 20, from 5 to 7 pm in our gallery at 66 rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth, 75003 Paris.

Claude Rutault first used the term definition/method in 1978, and he put all his work under that generic title from then on, through the definitive change had come as early as 1973. In March of that year, he painted a small canvas the same grey as the wall, which gave rise to his iconic phrase: “a canvas stretched on stretchers and painted the same color as the wall on which it is hung.” From that principle, he developed short, directive texts proposing specific works. They were first called constructions and then definitions/methods, which were later numbered. Each definition/method is a proposition to be actualized, in most cases by an act of painting that conforms to certain parameters controlling the relation of the canvas or canvases to the wall. They are based on the traditions of presentation, the history of art, and the institution of the exhibition. Rutault later extended the principle to include non-painted, repainted, and stacked canvases. A collector, either private or public, must abandon any fetishistic relationship to the work and choose the place and way to actualize it.

Extract from p. 85 and 86 of Claude Rutault The Inventory, Marie-Hélène Breuil, published by Mamco in 2015.

During a six-month residency (1977-1978) at PS1 in New York, Claude Rutault felt the need to publish his work in English. His motivation to have the entirety of the definitions/methods translated remained intact until his death in 2022.

We had the honour and the immense pleasure of accompanying Claude Rutault to make this work complete and to carry out the translation of this “long text“, to produce it and to publish it as a mirror of the Mamco* publication produced in 2016 in its French version.

This book contains all the definitions/methods from 1973 to 2016.

*The French edition dé-finitions/méthodes 1973-2016 was published by Mamco in 2016.

  • Opening Thursday, April 20, 2023 5 PM → 7 PM
11 Bastille Zoom in 11 Bastille Zoom out

94 boulevard Richard Lenoir

75011 Paris

T. 06 09 94 13 46

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