In 1942 Daniel Isaac Feinstein, son of a missionary of the Norwegian Lutheran church, fled to Zurich, Switzerland, with his mother and his siblings, where he adopted his mother's maiden name, Spoerri.
In Zurich Daniel Spoerri met Max Terpis, Jean Tinguely and Eva Aeppli. Spoerri found his way to art by dancing. In 1949 he began training at the "Theatertanzschule" in Zurich. In 1952 a scholarship enabled him to go to Paris and in 1954 he became principal dancer at the "Stadttheater" in Bern. During this time, Daniel Spoerri was friends with the artists Dieter Roth, Bernhard Luginbühl, Claus Bremer, Andre Thomkins and Meret Oppenheim.
In 1956 he began to turn away from dancing. Returning to Paris, Spoerri met Pol Bury, Jesus-Rafael Soto, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and others. He achieved his decisive breakthrough as an artist in 1960 with his "Fallenbilder" as a member of the "Nouveaux Réalistes" in Paris, whose manifesto he also signed. Like many artists of his generation, Daniel Spoerri pleaded for conformity of art and life. In happenings like banquets he showed his close contact to the "Fluxus" movement. Spoerri worked as poet, stage designer, director, publisher, object artist, eat artist, film producer and academy professor.
In 1977 Daniel Spoerri was appointed professor at the Cologne "Fachhochschule für Kunst und Design". From 1983 to 1989 he taught at the Munich art academy. Afterwards he refocused on his own art.
In 1990/91 in Seggiano, Italy, he began to work on the sculpture garden "Hic terminus haeret - Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri", which was accepted as a foundation and officially opened by the Italian ministry of culture in 1997.
In 2005 Spoerri was given the freedom of the city of Seggiano. Spoerri's extremely various oeuvre is in line with his idea of art as communication and helped him to become an internationally acclaimed artist.
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