Skip to Main Content

Christian Boltanski

French, b. 1944

1,210 followers
Follow

Christian Boltanski

French, b. 1944

1,210
Followers
Biography

Preoccupied with collective memory, mortality, and the passage of time, Christian Boltanski creates paintings, sculptures, films, and mixed-media installations that approach these themes in a range of styles, symbolic to direct. Boltanski often makes metaphorical use of found objects, as in No Man’s Land (2010), an enormous pile of discarded jackets set to the soundtrack of thousands of human heartbeats, suggesting the anonymity, randomness, and inevitability of death. In Monuments (1985), electrical bulbs cast a seemingly bittersweet light on pictures of child holocaust victims. Describing his interest in personal histories, Boltanski has said, “What drives me as an artist is that I think everyone is unique, yet everyone disappears so quickly. […] We hate to see the dead, yet we love them, we appreciate them.”

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 23 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 5 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 6 more
Biography

Preoccupied with collective memory, mortality, and the passage of time, Christian Boltanski creates paintings, sculptures, films, and mixed-media installations that approach these themes in a range of styles, symbolic to direct. Boltanski often makes metaphorical use of found objects, as in No Man’s Land (2010), an enormous pile of discarded jackets set to the soundtrack of thousands of human heartbeats, suggesting the anonymity, randomness, and inevitability of death. In Monuments (1985), electrical bulbs cast a seemingly bittersweet light on pictures of child holocaust victims. Describing his interest in personal histories, Boltanski has said, “What drives me as an artist is that I think everyone is unique, yet everyone disappears so quickly. […] We hate to see the dead, yet we love them, we appreciate them.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 23 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 5 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 6 more
Shows Featuring Christian Boltanski
Articles Featuring Christian Boltanski
Artissima Director Sarah Cosulich Canarutto on Fostering the Emerging Market
Nov 3rd, 2015
Artissima Director Sarah Cosulich Canarutto on Fostering the Emerging Market
Navigate right