Hans Haacke

Hans HaackeHans Haacke, an internationally known and exhibited conceptual artist, has lived in Westbeth for decades. This link takes you to a short video of the artist discussing his work.

German artist Hans Haacke has lived and worked in New York since traveling to the U.S. on a Fulbright grant in the early 1960s. Although his early works dealt with natural processes (such as water’s thawing and condensation, or the movement of air currents), Haacke is best known as a pioneer of institutional critique.


Condensation Cube, begun 1965, completed 2008; Plexiglas and water; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Many of his works attempt to expose the connections between money, politics, and art — for instance, corporations’ financial support of museum exhibitions as a means of whitewashing politically questionable organization policies. For Haacke, the institutions of the art world have too long hidden behind mollifying myths of disinterested beauty and “art for art’s sake.” His work insists that artists and viewers alike have a responsibility to acknowledge their position on the global stage.

Sculpture image by Ser Amantio di Nicolao, via Wikimedia Commons.

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