Hans Haacke

German (Cologne, Germany, 1936)

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.

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.

From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

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