For the past fifteen years, Hans Haacke’s work has been concerned with issues that are at the core of postmodern investigations – the nature of art as institution, the authorship of the artist, the social behavior of the art world, the network of cultural policies such as the role and function of the museum, the critic, and the public, and many other sociological problems.
This book is based on a major retrospective exhibition of Haacke’s work, the first in an American museum. The works selected show the different ways in which he has addressed the social and political concerns affecting art production. By laying bare the explicit functioning and interconnectedness of systems of finance, social organization, and representations, Haacke demonstrates how these employ art and other forms of presentation and representation as formalized means of power and coercion. In this important respect, his work has set a precedent for that of many younger, social concerned artists.
A group of significant essays by Leo Steinberg, Fredric Jameson, Rosalyn Deutsche, and an introduction and overview by Brian Wallis place Haacke’s work in a larger social and aesthetic context.
Hans Haacke was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1936 and, since 1967, has taught at the Cooper Union in New York. Earlier retrospective exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, the Tate Gallery, London, and museums in Berlin and Bern. His work has also been included in many major international group exhibitions, including the Tokyo Biennal, the Venice Biennale, and Documenta. Brian Wallis is Adjunct Curator at The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and editor of Art after Modernism: Rethinking Representation and of the magazine Wedge. Hans Haacke is copublished with The New Museum of Contemporary Art and distributed by The MIT Press.