The authenticity of the work has kindly been confirmed by the artist.
Originally from Switzerland, Daniel Spoerri trained in dance and mime and worked as a choreographer, composer and director of dramatic productions before reinventing himself as a life-artist. Spoerri's in-depth knowledge of the dramatic arts was often applied to the glorious banquets, festivals and exhibitions he staged. Like the Nouveau Realists, the Fluxus movement with which Spoerri also associated in the early 1960s sought to integrate art and life into a unified practice revelling not only in what the artist made, but also in his personality and more significantly his actions. From this aesthetic grew Spoerri's still-life works - sacred relics or remnants of a communal art/life enterprise.
At the end of a meal hosted by Spoerri, for example, the artist would invite his guests to glue the remaining objects to the table and the resulting tableau would become the artwork. Spoerri's practice of turning life into art through a chance combination of objects taken from the real world echoes the aesthetics of both dada and Nouveau Réalisme. In this unique work, formerly in the collection of the writer and critic Otto Hahn, Spoerri has immobilised traditional artistic materials, provocatively sticking them onto a chessboard, in a seemingly random sequence. Unlike other, communal works such as his dinner-party tableaux, this piece is a self-reflection and an open declaration against traditional restraints. By hanging the finished work on the wall, Spoerri has created a literal if also slightly mocking still-life/self-portrait.