The German conceptual artist Hanne Darboven (1941 - 2009) became known for her written drawings. After studying from 1962 to 1965 at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, she moved to New York for two years in 1966. There she made friends with artists of Minimal Art such as Sol LeWitt and Carl Andre, but also with Lawrence Weiner. It was during this time that she made her first serial construction-like drawings on graph paper, incorporating calendar data.
In 1969 she returned to Hamburg and began copying poems according to her own indices. Beginning in 1975, Darboven engaged in her major work, Writing Time, in which she records experienced history through numerical coding, word texts, diagrams, and photographs. Darboven also published her writing drawings based on number operations, writing out numbers, and rhythmic lines and crossings out in the form of artist's books and artist's journals.
In 1980, she began to translate her number systems into sequences of notes according to a simple principle, which she had a professional musician arrange in the traditional manner for various instruments. Despite her musical talent and training in piano and her special relationship to music, Darboven did not become a pianist. It was not until 1980, with her work on Wende 80, that she returned to music as a composer. In 1991 she finally described music as the final consequence of her work, calling it the total abstraction of art. (Florentine Gallwas, Hanne Darboven Foundation, Hamburg) Her musical oeuvre comprises over 61 works.
She had her first solo exhibition in 1967 at the Konrad Fischer Gallery in Düsseldorf. Hanne Darboven participated in a total of four documenta exhibitions (1972, 1977, 1982 and 2002), as well as the São Paulo Biennale in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney in 1979 and the Venice Biennale in 1982. In 2014, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid hosted a major solo exhibition for the artist.
Hanne Darboven published the following musical works, among others:
1980/81: Turn 80. index opus 1-6b
1981/82: Four Seasons. Opus 7 "The moon has risen".
1990: Opus 26
1996: Opus 17A
1997: Children of this World. Opus 43A