In 1955, the first Documenta was held in the provincial town of Kassel, Germany, alongside the National Garden Festival. No one imagined back then that the exhibition, held every five years, would develop into the world’s most important forum for contemporary art. Although the name Documenta stands for an all-encompassing vision, each of the 11 exhibitions to date has been unique, with its own aims and atmosphere. The history of Documenta reflects the past half century’s diverse artistic and curatorial approaches, philosophies and forms of presentation, as well as a broad array of political and social currents. This two-volume publication looks into that history and the phenomenon of Documenta in several ways. Volume 1 contains a richly illustrated review of 50 years of art in Kassel and the artworks that made history. Volume 2 is devoted more specifically to well-known and less well-known works from 50 years of the Documenta fair. The book contains about 200 works by 75 artists, including Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Marcel Broodthaers, Robert Capa, Stan Douglas, Walker Evans, Fischli & Weiss, Leon Golub, Ulrike Grossarth, Richard Hamilton, Eva Hesse, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Gerhard Richter, Paul Thek, Andy Warhol and Wols.