The artist’s multiple is perhaps ‘the’ art of the twentieth century. If in the nineteenth century art could be seen as distinct from products of industry, in the early twentieth century industry could confidently project itself as art. The artist’s multiple, in its delight in reproducibility, industrial fabrication, and new processes and materials, exemplifies this trend. This book explores the historical background of the multiple, examining its relationship to the ‘jeu d’ésprit’ of the artist’s studio, the readymade, constructivism, the store and the everyday. It looks at the work of Marcel Duchamp, George Maciunas, Joseph Beuys and Felix Gonzalez-Torres as well as contemporary practice, such as ‘The Multiple Store’.
An illustrated and chronologically arranged catalogue of over 800 multiples produced between 1935 and 2000 provides a wide selection of different approaches by artists to the medium. A chronology, glossary and detailed bibliography are also included.