Pioneering curator Harald Szeemann celebrated in two Los Angeles shows

Getty draws on vast archive while ICA LA reconstructs 1974 exhibition in Swiss apartment
2nd February 2018 17:58 GMT
via The Art Newspaper


Harald Szeemann is often called the first curator, in the modern sense of the word: a peripatetic, independent artistic agent, commissioned to make thematic exhibitions. The Swiss art historian was appointed director of the Kunsthalle Bern in 1961 at the young age of 28. There, he organised a series of progressively experimental shows, from Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s first wrapped building to, most notoriously, Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form, the controversial exhibition of Conceptual art that led to his resignation in 1969.

The packed show—which drew artists such as Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra and Lawrence Weiner to make new works in Bern—involved the destruction of parts of the museum, including a wrecking ball dropped by Michael Heizer on to the pavement outside. There were also protests against the show; a pile of manure was dumped by disgruntled local artists.

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