Monday, October 6, 2014

Harry Ruhe's Vice-Versand shelf

"The first multiples I bought were in 1969, from Vice-Versand in Germany. They published multiples by Beuys, Filliou, and George Brecht, and they were all ten German marks. They were signed, but they were unlimited. The idea then was that the market would never get a grip on the price. Of course, it was fairly idealistic, in keeping with the mentality of the sixties. But I liked the idea of non-unique work very much, and also, I didn’t have so much money. For a little money you could get a fairly good artwork— because it was unlimited— and even now, I prefer artworks in an edition. If the quality is of interest, I prefer it to a unique work by the same artist. For instance, Beuys made a lot of multiples. I don’t like all of his multiples, but Beuys made a large number of fantastic things that one could buy for very little money. Like Intuition, the wooden box, which was also in the series by Vice-Versand, costing ten German marks then. It’s a lot more expensive now, of course."

Above: Ruhé's Vice-Versand collection, in his Amsterdam home last month, including works by Ben Vautier, Nino Barbieri, Mauricio Kagel, George Brecht, Robert Filliou, George Brecht, Daniel Spoerri, Dieter Roth, Wolf Vostell and others.

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