Search the Collections

Christian Boltanski
Nationality: 
french
Gender: 
Male
Birth Date: 
1944
Birth Place: 
Paris
Contemporary French artist Christian Boltanski has been called a poet of memory. He addresses pertinent social, political and cultural issues through photography. His installations also have included common materials such as newspaper clippings, bare light bulbs, rusty biscuit tins, found snapshots, sheets, furniture and tape recordings of his voice. Issues range from humor (LE CLUB MICKEY, Paris, 1958, a book of photography inspired by Mickey Mouse) to poignancy ("Gymnasium Chases",1991, a portfolio of 24 photogravures of Viennese Holocaust victims). Created at Crown Point Press, "Gymnasium Chases" led to the establishment of an important photogravure program there. RESIDENCE: Lives and works in Paris, France ACADEMIC POSITION: As of 1997, Instructor of interdisciplinary and multimedia fields, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-arts, Paris ASSOCIATION WITH MAJOR PRINTING PRESS: Crown Point Press SELECTED ONE-PERSON EXHIBITIONS include: 1990-1997 -"Derniers Jours" ("Last Days"), Plieux, France. The 1995 closing of a school in the village of Plieux inspired Boltanski to produce this work, which was installed at the 14th-century Chateau of Plieux . He saw the school closing as the ultimate symbol of town life erosion that has occurred throughout the French countryside as people move to large cities. (July-September 1997) -Boltanski installed an archive of The Carnegie International, an exhibition series established by Andrew Carnegie in 1896. The installation (at the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum in Pittsburgh, PA) recorded the names of 5632 artists whose work appeared in the 51 Internationals (1991). -Villa Medici, Rome -Belvedere du Chateau, Prague, Czech Republic -Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland -The New York Public Library -Lisson Gallery, London -Contemporary Art Museum, Houston -Marian Goodman Gallery, New York -Institute of Contemporary Art, Nagoya, Japan -Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 1980-1989 -Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris -Kunsthaus, Zurich -Kunstalle, Baden-Baden, Germany -Carpenter Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts -Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris -Galerie Marika Malacorda, Geneva, Switzerland -Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut 1970-1979 -Sonnabend Gallery, New York and Paris -Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California -Galerie Art Actuel, Nancy, France -Galerie Seriaal, Amsterdam, The Netherlands -Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris -Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Paris -Israel Museum, Jerusalem -Galerie Grada, Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) -Galerie Skulima, Berlin -Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS include: 1990-1997 -Thirty-Five Years at Crown Point Press: Making Prints, Doing Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (June-September, 1997), FAMSF (October 1997-January 1998) -The Familial Gaze, The Hood Museum of Art, Darmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (through July 1997) -Programmation videos/art contemporain, Centre culturel du Crous, Reims, France (1997) -Imagined Communities, a national touring exhibition organized by the Hayward Gallery on behalf of the Arts Council of England (January 1996 through February 1997). The exhibition offered fresh perspectives on the subject of community, with community members often becoming involved. Boltanski took on the role of school photographer, producing 144 children’s portraits. Each child took a print home, while the entire series was installed in the Lisson Gallery, London, adjacent to the children’s school. -Face a Face, Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre George Pompidou, Paris -Photography and Beyond: New Expressions in France, organized by the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and the French Department of Foreign Affairs -Take Me, I’m Yours, The Serpentine Gallery, London, and Kunstalle, Nuremberg, Germany. One of the first exhibitions to be seen on the Internet. Each artist had a home page, and visitors were able to view the exhibition interactively. -Art Against Apartheid. Conceived in Paris in 1983, this controversial international art exhibition was assembled as a tribute to South Africa’s first democratically elected government. Works by 80 artists, plus poets, writers and philosophers continue to be exhibited in over 40 cities worldwide. -Livres d’artistes, Galerie Mansart, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris -Prints in Series: Christian Boltanski, Sol LeWitt and Jose Maria Sicilia, Crown Point Press, New York -Group Show, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York -Jocelyne Alloucherie and Christian Boltanski, Galerie Chantal Boulanger, Montreal 1980-1989 -Witness, Fuller Gross Gallery, San Francisco -Images Fabriquees, Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris -Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria -Kunst mit Photographie, Nationalgalerie, Berlin -60-80, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands -Twelve Contemporary French Artists, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo -Camera Obscura, Palazzo Reale, Milan -Venice Biennale (various) 1970-1979 -Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, Switzerland -Guggenheim Museum, New York -Musee d’Art Moderne, Grenoble, France -Musee Rude, Dijon, France -Idea and Image in Recent Art, Art Institute of Chicago -Demonstrative Fotografie, Kunstverein Heidelberg, Germany -Ars 1974, Helsinki -Identite-Identification, CAPC, Bordeaux Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels -Second Triennale of Photography, Israel Museum, Jerusalem -Narrative Art, Galerie Cannaviello, Rome