French avant-garde artist Ben Vautier passed away the day after the death of his wife of 60 years.

Juliette Morgan
French avant-garde artist Ben Vautier passed away the day after the death of his wife of 60 years.

Artist Ben Vauthier committed suicide shortly after his wife Annie Vauthier died of a stroke. This was reported by The Guardian with reference to their children - Eva and Francois.

The wife of 88-year-old artist Ben Vautier suffered a stroke on the evening of June 3 and died two days later, on June 5. As their children reported, “unwilling and unable to live without her, Ben committed suicide a few hours later in their home” in Nice. They lived together for 60 years.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences on the death of the artist: “On the pencil cases of our children, on many everyday objects and even in our imagination, Ben left his mark, made of freedom and poetry, of apparent lightness and irresistible depth.”

Бен Вотье, надпись на полотне гласит
Бен Вотье, надпись на полотне гласит "Какие-то проблемы?"/Фото: ben-vautier.com

Benjamin Vautier was born in Naples in 1935 and at the age of 14 he moved to Nice, where he lived until his death. He was part of the Fluxus movement of the 1960s, which sought to destroy what was then considered art. He said that everything is art, and made performances that he called “gestures.” For example, he stood in the gallery window and screamed until he lost his voice, organized performances that were never shown to the public, or piano concerts in which the pianist ran away.

In addition, as part of his activities, he appropriated to himself everything that he considered his creation: he signed with his name the bodies of passers-by on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice or the works of other artists. He stated that he strives to sign everything that has not been signed, and that art lies in intention.

He was the author of ironic slogans, which he wrote in childish handwriting in white on a black background, among them were “What is the use of art?”, “New is always new?”, “What are you doing here?”. They were placed in the New York Museum MoMA and are often reproduced on school bags, notebooks, and tram stops in Nice. His works are in some of the world's most important collections, including the Reina Sofia Center for the Arts in Madrid. At the Pompidou Center in Paris, Ben Vauthier's enormous work Magasin ("Store") is permanently exhibited. In 2022, one of the largest exhibitions about Vautier was organized in Mexico City.

In February of this year, in the Netherlands, former Prime Minister Dries van Agt and his wife Eugenia passed away on the same day through couple euthanasia. Both were 93 years old, 70 of which they lived in the same place.

Бен Вотье/Фото: ben-vautier.com
Бен Вотье/Фото: ben-vautier.com
Бен Вотье/Фото: ben-vautier.com
Бен Вотье/Фото: ben-vautier.com

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