Born in 1930 in Galati, Romania, Daniel Spoerri is a Swiss plastic artist. He got introduced to the art world through dance, which he practised during his studies at the Zurich Opera School of Dance, and in several courses, notably with dancer Olga Preobrajenska and mime Étienne Decroux. He started his career at the Bern Opera from 1954 to 1957, where he became the principal dancer, before devoting himself to theatre as a director, actor, mime, and set designer. In 1957, he founded “Material,” a journal for concrete poetry and fine art, in cooperation with Josef Albers, Louis Aragon, Helmut Heissenbüttel, Eugen Gomringer, and Dieter Roth.
In 1960, he invented his first “Tableaux-pièges” by gluing on planks everyday objects found in his hotel room—objects turned into something unusual by passing from the horizontal to the vertical plane. This work led him to join the New Realist group when it was founded in 1960. He declared: “I only put a bit of glue on a few objects, I don’t indulge in any creativity.” In 1972, the Centre National d'Art Contemporain in Paris held a retrospective of his work. He was inducted as a member of the Berlin Academy of Art in 1984.