Hanne Darboven was a German prominent conceptual artist, whose most known works were large scale minimalist installations consisting of handwritten numerical sequences.
“I only use numbers because it is a way of writing without describing. . . . It has nothing to do with mathematics. Nothing! I choose numbers because they are so constant, confined, and artistic. Numbers are probably the only real discovery of mankind. A number of something (two chairs, or whatever) is something else. It’s not pure number and has other meanings.”
Her works tried to define a neutral experience of time, in an absolute abstract manner, alien to any aesthetic appeal, emotional or sensual expression. She used to refer to her works as “mathematical literature”: arbitrary architectures of time, they were continuous systems that represented both the flux of life and an all embracing order.
A short selection of online references:
“It is what it is” Obituary: Hanne Darboven.
Hanne Darboven. An introduction on Dia.
Hanne Darboven on ARNDT
Darboven List on Left Matrix
Schrijven zonder iets te beschrijven: Hanne Darboven
Hanne Darboven at Camden Art Center – London Student
Hanne Darboven 1941-2009 at Louise Gray
Hanne Darboven at the Regen Projects – Contemporary Art Daily