170 x 101 cm base diameter

Perspex letters on fibreglass cone, motorized turntable.

Text Liliane Lijn.

Private Collection.

Commissioned for Guillaume Apollinaire 1880-1918: A Celebration, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 1968.

“I made Poemkon=D=4=Open=Apollinaire  to celebrate the centenary of the great French poet Apollinaire’s birth.” Lijn

Lijn used a simple numerological system to analyse Apollinaire’s name numerically and separate it into different words, ie: Apollo, in, air. From these other words came, and a ‘word- number poem’ developed in which each word related to a specific number.

At the time Lijn worked a great deal with numbers.  All the proportions of the cones were carefully worked out and corresponded to the Pythagorian Golden rule, although she was not aware of the Fibonacci formula at the time and arrived at it by play and experiment.

Photographs by Stephen White