In 1966, having completed her studies at the Hamburg Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hanne Darboven went to New York for two years, where she established friendships with Minimal artists such as Sol LeWitt and Carl Andre. In the context of Conceptual and Minimal art, she developed systems of simple numerical progressions adhering to strictly predefined structures and characterized by complex variation sequences. For example, she began categorizing numbers in day, month and year according to the calendar principle, then calculating the cross-totals of calendar dates. She referred to her notations as “Mathematical Literature”. In the 1980s she expanded her oeuvre with the development of “Mathematical Music”, converting the numbers contained in her rows and columns into sounds. Numbers were assigned to certain notes, and numerical series translated into musical scores.
Hanne Darboven’s works have been presented in numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad. Individual works by Darboven were already included in the Documenta 5, 6 and 7, and in 1982 she represented the Federal Republic of Germany at the Venice Biennale. At the Documenta 11 her oeuvre was shown in all its many facets on three floors of the Fridericianum in Kassel.
An exhibition of the Research Centre for Artists’ Publications in cooperation with students of the University Bremen.