The Gift, San Francisco

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Accessions Committee Fund purchase

About Jochen Gerz

Jochen Gerz did not receive training in art, nor does he consider himself a professional. In approaching his public installations and sculpture, Gerz believes that his authorship is not as important as public participation, because in “situations without the public, there would be no work.” He began making public artwork after the 1960s because he did not feel as though his work fit in museums or gallery spaces; instead, he wanted to use his work as a public forum to create discussion. His pieces are characteristically conceptual, and frequently incorporate text and surrounding architecture. Whether commissioned or the product of a guerilla-style installation, his works take up issues of social justice and history.

German, b. 1940, Berlin, Germany, based in Paris, France