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An example of work by Hans Christoph Haacke
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Hans Haacke is a sculptor and conceptual artist born in 1936 in
Cologne, Germany, who now lives and works in New York City.
Haacke was educated at the Staatl Werkakademie in Germany, 1956-60,
Atelier 17, and the Tyler School of Art, Temple University,
Philadelphia, 1961-62 on a Fulbright Fellowship. He became an
instructor at Cooper Union in New York.|
His highly political art
has taken many forms over the years. In one work, he traced ownership
of a particular painting to catalogue the rise in value of the work of
art and bring into question the motives and function of buying
art. He was outspoken about his beliefs that museums and
galleries were often used by the wealthy to seduce public opinion.
One of his most well-known works, Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A Real-Time Social System as of May 1, 1971
(1971), exposed the malpractice of Harry Shapolsky's real-estate
business and caused Haacke's April 1971 exhibition at the Guggenheim to
In Mobilization (1975), he created
"advertisements" that mocked the major oil company's position on
political issues and the role that art played in Mobil's public
In 1990, Haacke continued to make controversial art with his Cowboy with Cigarette
piece that protested corporate sponsorship of museums, particularly the
Phillip Morris company and the Museum of Modern Art which turned
Picasso's Man with a Hat (1912-13) into a cigarette advertisement.
A 2005 New York gallery exhibition reviewer, Holland Cotter, said of his conceptual work, State of the Union,
that: "Obviously there is a message in all of this, something about a
nation torn, a public office in ruins, an economy built on
specters. Mr. Haacke says nothing flat-outm but he speaks a
language anyone can understand."
Hans Haacke published a book about the ideas and processes behind his and other conceptual art called Framing and Being Framed.
He continued to produce provocative, highly political, conceptual
pieces and environmental art such as using flowing water and freezing
cycles to build snow and ice configurations.
received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He
exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, and the Venice
His work is in the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Les Krantz, American Artists, Illustrated Survey of Leading Contemporary Artists
Holland Cotter, "Hans Haacke", The New York Times, 12/16/2005, B 36
The Encyclopedia Britannica of American Art
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