Christian Boltanski, born in Paris in 1944 and one of France’s best-known artists of the postwar generation, has developed a highly personal and often disconcerting œuvre that challenges basic assumptions of what constitutes an artwork. Using media as diverse as newspaper clippings, used clothes, amateur snapshots, and flickering shadows, Boltanski forges an original universe in which he is frequently the central protagonist. One of Boltanski’s favorite themes is his own life story, both actual and reinvented, which he evokes through startling collections of photographs and objects. In other pieces, he assembles seemingly mundane elements to address some of the most fundamental and disturbing contradictions of twentieth-century life. In a beautifully written and erudite essay, art historian Lynn Gumpert analyzes and provides a context for these haunting works that have the unsettling ability to be merry and morbid at the same time. With over 150 black-and-white and 50 color illustrations that span the entire range of Boltanski’s production, materials, and influences, this insightful monograph–the first to be published in English–is essential reading for collectors, art historians, students, and anyone interested in contemporary art.