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Biography of Christian Boltanski

See works in the collection

b. 1944, Paris

1944
Born on September 6.
Boltanski's early years are marked by the Nazi occupation of France, which forces his family, who are Jewish, to go into hiding.
1958
Begins to paint after a childhood without formal schooling or official training in the arts.
His earliest works are large-format figurative paintings with macabre historical themes.
1968
Gives up painting to work with photography as well as materials such as modeling clay, personal artifacts, and postcards, creating works that reflect on life, the passage of time, memory, and his own childhood. Has his first solo exhibition, La vie impossible de Christian Boltanski, at the Théâtre le Ranelagh in Paris.
1969
Publishes his first books, Recherche et présentation de tout ce qui reste de mon enfance, 1944–1950 and Reconstitution d'un accident qui ne m'est pas encore arrivé et où j'ai trouvé la mort, both published by Galería Givaudan in Paris.
1970
Exhibits at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
1972
Takes part in Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany.
1973
The exhibition Les inventaires opens at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, later traveling to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst in Humlebaek, Denmark, and Centre National d'Art Contemporain in Paris.
1975
Takes part in A proposito del Mulino Stucky at the Biennale Architettura di Venezia.
1976
The exhibition Photographies couleurs, images modèles is presented at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
1977
Begins working on the Compositions series.
1978
Exhibits at the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, P.S. 1 in New York.
1980
The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Calais, France, presents the exhibition Christian Boltanski: Compositions.
1984
The show Filme von Christian Boltanski is shown at the Kunsthalle Bern and later travels to the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich; Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; and Bonner Kunstverein in Bonn.
1986
The exhibition Leçon des ténèbres is shown at the Kunstverein München in Munich.
Participates in the XLII Biennale di Venezia.
1987
Addresses the theme of the Holocaust at Documenta 8 in Kassel, Germany.
1988
The exhibition El caso is presented by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
The exhibition Lessons of Darkness travels to several different museums in the United States and Canada for two years, beginning with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and closing at the Power Plant in Toronto. The Marian Goodman Gallery in New York organizes an exhibition of Boltanski's work.
1990
Exhibits at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Nagoya, Japan.
Christian Boltanski: Reconstitution opens at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and later travels to the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and the Musée de Grenoble.
1993
The Museum Ludwig in Cologne presents an exhibition of Boltanski's work.
1994
Exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo.
1995
Has solo shows at the Villa Medici in Rome and the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna.
The exhibition Advento, organized by the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, is presented at the church of Santo Domingo de Bonaval in Santiago de Compostela.
1997
Exhibits at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul.
Boltanski's work is included in The Guggenheim Museums and the Art of This Century, the inaugural exhibition of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The exhibition Recent European Art is also displayed at the same museum.
1998
Christian Boltanski: So Far is shown at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Kansas City.
2000
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston presents Christian Boltanski: Reflexion.
2001
The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco presents the exhibition Face[t]s of Memory: Found Photographs and Family Albums.
Receives the Kaiserring prize from the city of Goslar, Germany, and the Nord/LB, Braunschweig Art Prize later in the year.
2003
The exhibition The Disembodied Spirit travels to several museums in the United States.
Boltanski's work is exhibited at Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw.
2006
The Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Roma in Rome and Institute of Contemporary Arts in London present exhibitions of Boltanski's work.
Awarded the Praemium Imperiale for sculpture by the Japan Art Association.
2007
CAPC, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux presents the exhibition Annulé.
2008
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall in Stockholm presents an exhibition of Boltanski's work.
2009
The exhibition A mancha is shown at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and La vie impossible at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
2010
The Park Avenue Armory in New York, hosts the exhibition Christian Boltanski: No Man's Land. Takes part in the exhibitions Collection / Porto: Museu Serralves, at Domaine de Kerguéhennec – Centre d'Art Contemporain in Bignan, France; Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; and Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance, held at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
2011
Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, presents Signatures, a solo exhibition created specifically for the museum's Aljub hall.
Represents France at the 54th Biennale di Venezia.
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