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The Most Influential Exhibitions of Contemporary Art

Jens Hoffmann

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An intelligent, authoritative and generously illustrated survey of contemporary curating

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Jens Hoffmann’s survey of groundbreaking exhibitions since 1989 explores the radical shifts that have taken place in the practice of curating contemporary art over the last 25 years.

Nine thematic sections focus on a huge variety of exhibitions – 53 in total – including those that have explored public space; reflected on globalization; engaged audiences in revolutionary ways; and brought into the gallery other disciplines such as theatre and architecture. Five new exhibitions have been added: ‘Living as Form’ (New York, 2011), the first large-scale survey of ‘social practice’; ‘55th Venice Biennale’ (Venice, 2013), the first time that ‘outsider art’ was presented alongside ‘fine art’ in the most prestigious art exhibition of them all; ‘When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969 / Venice 2013’ (Venice, 2013), a remake of arguably the most important exhibition of the last 50 years; ‘The Other Story’ (1989–90, London), interesting as a critical response to the iconic exhibition ‘Magiciens de la Terre’; ‘artevida’ (Rio de Janeiro, 2014), the first overview of artistic practices emerging in the 1960s and 1970s to focus on the Global South.

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'A fascinating survey of groundbreaking exhibitions from the 1980s through to now ... The selection shines with the inquiring intelligence and practical know-how that make Jens Hoffmann one of the most inventive of contemporary curators.'
Terry Smith, Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory, University of Pittsburgh

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Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Revised and updated edition

Size: 26.0 x 20.2 cm

Extent: 272 pp

Illustrations: 217

Publication date: 9 March 2017

ISBN: 9780500292624

About the Author

Jens Hoffmann is an exhibition maker and writer based in New York. He is Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Jewish Museum, New York, and Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Hoffmann is the Founding Editor of The Exhibitionist: Journal on Exhibition Making.