Museum of Drawers, Herbert Distel

Herbert Distel, Museum of Drawers [Museu de Gavetas], 1970-77


Drawer 11.gifPrimary view of object titled_Herbert Distel_The Museum of Drawers

Herbert Distel.
Museum of Drawers. 1970-77.

Chest of drawers containing miniature works by various artists, overall (approx.) 72 x 28 9/16 x 28 9/16″ (183 x 42 x 42 cm). Kunsthaus Zürich. Donation of Herbert Distel and The Foundation Julius Bÿr. Photo: ©1999, Kunsthaus Zôrich. All rights reserved.

Herbert Distel (Bern, 1942) studied lithography in Paris at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (1963-64) and began creating geometric form sculptures in the mid Sixties. In 1968-1969 he started making sculptures in the shape of an egg and in 1970 began Project Canaris, in which he placed a three-meter polystyrene egg  along the West African coast that then reached the coast of Trinidad seven months later. The same year he installed Monumento Canaris, a 22-ton granite egg along the road between Basel and Chiasso. Between 1970 and 1977 Distel produced one of the very first known examples of the use of museum practices by an artist through his The Museum of Drawers (Das Schubladenmuseum), a cupboard with 25 small containers that collect the works of artists such as Arnulf Rainer, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Beuys, John Baldessari, Carl Andre, Nam June Paik, Valie Export, Ed Ruscha, Dieter Roth or John Cage.

The Museum of Drawers was one of the three artist museums exhibited by Harald Szeemann at Documenta 5 (1972) and then presented at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York and currently belongs to the Kunstmuseum Zurich collection.


Herbert Distel (Berna, Suíça, 1942) artista…


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