||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
Christian Boltanski in 1990.
6 September 1944 |
|Field||Sculpture, Painting, Photography, Installation art|
Christian Boltanski (born 1944) is French sculptor, photographer, painter and film maker.
Life and work
Born in Paris, of Catholic and Jewish heritage.
Having no formal art education, he began painting in 1958. Nevertheless, he first came to public attention in 1960 with few short films and publication of several notebooks. Both avant-garde short films and notebooks contained mutualism of both real and fictional human existence. This relation remained dominant concept to his later art. In 1970, he began experimenting with object creation from clay and from many other unusual materials (sugar and gauze). These works, some of them entitled Attempt at Reconstitution of Objects that Belonged to Christian Boltanski between 1948 and 1954 (1970–1971), consisted of flashbacks of segment of life and time, diminishing memory and human condition.
In the 1970s, Boltanski started using mainly photography for expressing form, exploration of consciousness, and remembering. After 1976, he started treating photography as painting, making collages of sliced photographs of still nature and everyday life banality in order to reflect collective aesthetic condition of modern civilization in ordinary, stereotypical way. As a departure from his earlier medias, he started using readymade objects. His use of small, colorful figures made from cardboard, thread and cork, transposed photographically into large picture formats, helped him creating effective theatrical compositions. These works encouraged him to start creating kinetic installations. The Shadows (1984) consists of strong light focused on figurative shapes and forms generating mysterious environment of silhouettes in movement.
In 1986, Boltanski began creating mixed media/materials installations with light as essential concept. Tin boxes, altar-like construction of framed and manipulated photographs (e.g. Chases School, 1986–1987), photographs of Jewish schoolchildren taken in Vienna in 1931, used as a forceful reminder of mass murder of Jews by the Nazis, all those elements and materials used in his work are used in order to represent deep contemplation regarding reconstruction of past. While creating Reserve (exhibition at Basle, Museum Gegenwartskunst, 1989), Boltanski filled rooms and corridors with worn clothing items as a way of inciting profound sensation of human tragedy at concentration camps. As in his previous works, objects serve as relentless reminder to human experience and suffering. His piece, Monument (Odessa), uses six photographs of Jewish students in 1939 and lights to resemble Yahrzeit candles to honor and remember the dead. "My work is about the fact of dying, but it's not about the Holocaust itself."
Additionally, his enormous installation titled “No Man’s Land” (2010) at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, is a great example of how his constructions and instillations trace the lives of the lost and forgotten.
Christian Boltanski has participated in over 150 art exhibitions throughout the world. Among others, he had solo exhibitions at the New Museum (1988), the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Magasin 3 in Stockholm, the La Maison Rouge gallery, Institut Mathildenhöhe, the Kewenig Galerie, The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme and many others.
From July 1 to September 25, 2011, museum Es Baluard (Mallorca, Spain) exhibited "Signatures", the installation Christian Boltanski conceived specifically for Es Baluard and which is focused on the memory of the workers who in the 17th Century built the museum's walls.
In 2002, Boltanski made the installation "Totentanz II" for the underground Centre for International Light Art (www.lichtkunst-unna.de) in Unna, Germany. A Shadow Installation with copper figures
- 2007 Créateurs sans frontières award for visual arts by Cultures France
- 2007 Praemium Imperiale Award by the Japan Art Association
- 2001 Goslarer Kaiserring, Goslar, Germany
- 2001 Kunstpreis, given by Nord/LB, Braunschweig, Germany
- Christian Boltanski: About this artist, Oxford University Press
- Borger, Irene. "Christian Boltanski". BOMB Magazine. Retrieved 15 May 2013. "IB: This touches on the newer work, you have rephotographed and enlarged a portrait of a high school class, in such a way that the information in the pictures is no longer very specific and detailed. You’re really asking the spectator to fill it in. CB: You mean the Lycee Chases? CB The less information you have, the more open the work, the more you can think about it."
- Monument (Odessa) Jewish Museum (New York)
- McAdams, Shane. "CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI No Man's Land". The Brooklyn Rail (July–August 2010).
- "Christian Boltanski biography". Marian Goodman gallery.
- "Marian Goodman Gallery". Marian Goodman Gallery. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- Lynn Gumpert and Mary Jane Jacob, "Christian Boltanski: Lessons of Darkness," Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, 1988.
- Didier Semin, "Christian Boltanski," Paris, Art Press, 1988.
- Nancy Marmer, "Christian Boltanski: The Uses of Contradiction," "Art in America," October 1989, pp. 168–181, 233-235.
- Lynn Gumpert, "Christian Boltanski," Paris, Flammarion, 1944.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2011)|
- Marian Goodman Gallery
- Tate Magazine Interview
- ICP: Christian Boltanski
- Folkestone Triennial: Christian Boltanski
- (French) Christian Boltanski
- Exhibitions listed at kunstaspekte.de
- MoMA profile
- Art Icono
- Magasin 3: Christian Boltanski