Born in Bern, Switzerland in 1933, Harald Szeemann was a crucial force in identifying, exhibiting, and writing about the important new movements in postwar contemporary art. This collection of seventy-four texts from the curator's vast body of written work-which includes essays, lectures, studio notes, reviews, interviews, correspondence, and transcripts-introduces the depth of his method, insight, and inclusive artistic interests. The pieces have been translated from German and French and collected in an informed, authoritative edition, making this the first time Szeemann's work is accessible in English.
The first two sections of this volume republish Szeemann's anthologies "Museum der Obsessionen" (1981) and "Individuelle Mythologien" (1985). The final part assembles important writing from 1986 until his death in 2005 to represent the later years of his career and round out a record of his contribution to and dialogue with later twentieth century art and artists.
The book's publication coincides with the opening of the Getty Research Institute's exhibition Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions, as well as a satellite show that recreates on Szeemann's "Grandfather exhibition" at the Institute of Contempoary Art, Los Angeles.
Glenn Phillips is curator and head of modern and contemporary collections at the Getty Research Institute. Doris Chon is a research specialist at the Getty Research Institute. Pietro Rigolo is a special collections archivist at the Getty Research Institute.