Hans Haacke


1936, Cologne, Germany

Hans Haacke artist portrait

© Hans Haacke. Courtesy the Artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York


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.

A pioneer of institutional critique, artist Hans Haacke creates conceptual works that expose connections among money, art, and politics. Haacke recounts the realizations that inspired him to explore the relationships between art and the outside world, as in his SFMOMA collection work News (1969).

Works in the Collection

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