Brigitta Rohrbach


Every day fliers from supermarkets or furniture stores fill our mailboxes—only to end up in the trash. Since the early ’90s, Brigitta Rohrbach has been collecting this kind of ephemera—announcements for art openings; advertisements for various services, emblazoned with phone numbers; cash-register receipts; and the soccer scores from the sports pages of daily newspapers. Rohrbach then photocopies these items, eliminating images that appear and altering the proportions of the numerals, separating them from their original context. In this way she produces graphically strong compositions consisting of long columns of computations or isolated numerals with spare color and monochrome backgrounds.

In German the word Zahlen means both “numbers” and “to pay,” and in restaurants one calls out “zahlen,” an abbreviated form of bezahlen, meaning “to settle a bill.” This overlap between abstract sign

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1997 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.