Ben Vautier




Inspired by Yves Klein, Marcel Duchamp and the Nouveaux Réalistes, Ben Vautier developed a distinctive personal style with leanings towards Dada. During the latter half of the 1950s, Vautier – years before Andy Warhol did anything of the kind – produced work based on variations on a highly simplified banana motif. In addition, Vautier worked with configurations composed of multiple individual parts recalling Jean Tinguely’s machines. By now Ben Vautier had found what would become his trade mark: instructions and explanations written in cursive writing on objects.

Between 1958 and 1973 Ben Vautier ran a record shop in Nice, “Magazin”, which caused a stir because of the way Ben Vautier had designed the façade and the interior. In 1959 Vautier founded the journal “Ben Dieu”. A year later he had his first one-man show, “Rien et tout” [“Nothing and Everything”] in “Laboratoire 32” on the first floor of his shop.
Taking Duchamp’s “ready-mades” as his starting-point and realising it was only the artist’s signature, in both the literal and the figurative sense, that make an artist’s work attributable, Ben Vautier playfully took the term literally and signed everything he could get his hands on, including works by other artists and



Born 1935 in Naples, Italy
Died 2024 in Nice, France

Selected Solo Shows

"Ben", galerie lange + pult, Genève, Switzerland
"On est tous fous", Musée international d’Art Naïf Anatole Jakovsky, Nice, France
"Rien d'impossible", Galerie & Châteaux Mme de Graffigny, Villers-lès-Nancy, France
"What is the question?", galerie lange + pult, Zurich, Switzerland
"Je ne suis pas Picasso", Musée Magnelli, Vallauris, France
"La muerto no existe", MUAC, Mexico City, Mexico
"Ben", galerie lange + pult, Auvernier, Switzerland
“Être libre“, Château de Chamarande, Chamarande, France
"Ben", galerie lange + pult, Zurich, Switzerland
"La vie est un film. Ben et ses invites.", Le 109, Nice, France
"Quelle est la question?", Galerie Lara Vincy, Paris, France
"On peut le faire", Fondation du Doute, Blois, France
"Is this art or money?", 11 Columbia, Monaco, Monaco
"Vide Grenier de Ben", Galerie Guy Pieters, Knokke-Heist, Belgium
"Ben", galerie lange + pult, Zurich, Switzerland
"Tout est art - Ben au Musée Maillol?", Maillol Museum, Paris, France
"Je suis ce que je suis", Musée d’Art Contemporain Saint Martin, Montélimar, France
“Ben L’incroyable foutoir“, Galerie Lara Vincy, Paris, France
"Ist Alles Kunst ?", Tinguely Museum, Basel, Switzerland
"Il faut rire", Yves Brayer Museum, les Baux-de-Provence, France