Harald Szeemann’s life in arts on showcase

Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions at Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles is the exhibition telling the work and life of the Swiss curator.

In foto Harald Szeemann, Last night of Documenta 5, 1972, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Courtesy  J. Paul Getty Trust, foto  Balthasar Burkhard,

“Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions” is an exhibition on the famous curator at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Szeemann was the curator of modern and contemporary art that revolutionized the way of seeing and treating radical art and was a fascinating figure in the art world. In the words of museum director Thomas W. Gaehtgens: “Szeemann was the most intellectual figure of his generation, and his projects have influenced post-war artistic development, from conceptualism to post-minimalism to new forms of installation and performative art”.

This exhibition highlights the life and career of a true creative of art exhibitions, from the avant-garde of 1960-1970 to the contemporary, passing through the Modernism lecture. His archive was purchased by the museum in 2011 and is impressive: it includes 50 years of curatorial career, including its archiving strategies. Glenn Philips, curator of the exhibition, writes: “The exhibition includes not only the physical location of the archive but also a mental landscape of Szeemann in its genial curators.” The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections: “Avanguards”, which talks about the first exhibitions of Szeemann and his projects with the artistic avant-gardes of the 60s and early 70s, “Utopias and Visionaries”, which explores a trilogy of exhibitions that Szeemann organized in the ’70s and ’80s, rewriting the narrative of the early twentieth century as a history of alternative political movements, mystical visions of the world and utopian ideologies; and “Geographies”, which examines the Swiss origins of Szeemann, his weakness for travel, and his attention to large international exhibitions and regional presentations in the last phase of his career.

Title:
Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions
Museum:
Getty Research Institute
Curators:
Glenn Phillips, Philipp Kaiser, Doris Chon, Pietro Rigolo
Opening dates:
6 February - 6 May
Address:
1200 Getty center Drive, Suite 403 CA 90049-1681

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