Claude Rutault de-finitions/methods 1973-2016

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864 pages
25 × 20.5 × 5.95 cm
The text is composed in Sabon and Univers and is printed in offset on white Multi Offset 90 gr


Limited edition to 250 copies numbered from 1 to 250
Produced and published in 2023 by mfc-michèle didier
©2023 Claude Rutault and mfc-michèle didier

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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

mfc-michèle didier is pleased to announce the publication of the English edition of de-finitions/methods 1973-2016 by Claude Rutault (the French edition dé-finitions/méthodes 1973-2016 was published by Mamco in 2016).

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 complete this work 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 (we warmly thank the Mamco for allowing us to use the design of the French version in order to make both the French and English versions similar).

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