Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors
SEPTEMBER 28, 2004
Grass Grows, 1969
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.
His lecture addressed a major retrospective exhibition of Haacke's work at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. 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.
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.