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Born in 1912 in Kalocsa, Hungary

Dead in 1992


Nicolas Schöffer is a French artist of Hungarian origin. After studying at the Beaux-Arts in Budapest and a doctorate in law, he moved to Paris in 1936. His creative process goes through different stages. Between 1936 and 1948, he completed various series of paintings and drawings (landscapes, still lifes and portraits) in the "classical", "Turkish", "surrealistic" and "lyric" movements.


In 1948, he invented Spatiodynamism, that is to say, according to his definition, "the constructive and dynamic integration of space in the plastic work". His works then do not encumber the space of their opaque volume, but are instead open so that the viewer can cross them. Espace Meyer Zafra exhibits his so-called "Spatioplastic" paintings which contain small elements foreign to the painting, revealing the first timid reliefs between 1948 and 1950. These reliefs bear witness to his first desire to "bring the work out of the wall" .


In the 1950s, he introduced interactivity and programming in his sculptural, architectural and urbanistic creations, and created the first interactive multimedia works with young creators like Pierre Henry or Maurice Béjart. The Schöffer sculptor of space, light and time shows in his works immaterial materials.


He also works with the Golden Number, the "divine proportion" as Pythagoras called it, to develop between 1974 and 1976, a small number of silkscreened compositions translated into different forms: Cassetra (box in which can swap plates Unitra) , Panetra (plates of Plexiglas on which are pasted original self-adhesive works), Varetra (electric box built on the same principle as the Cassetra but luminous). This series demonstrates Schöffer's desire to place interactivity with the viewer at the center of his work.


Finally, his thinking leads to Chronodynamism in 1959, with the Chronos series: programmed sculptures reacting to the passage of time, day / night alternation, etc. The Cybernetic Light Tower, a 1963 project, should have been built at La Défense and thus would have been the only monumental sculpture to reflect by its lights and its movements the life of a city: Paris.

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