26 Oct 2010 /

the first documenta 1955

By ian wallace

A lecture presented by Ian Wallace on the occasion of a symposium on early post-war modern art titled: “The Triumph of Pessimism”; University of British Columbia Department of Fine Arts, September 26, 1987

“The first documenta exhibition held in Kassel in the summer of 1955 was not necessarily expected to continue. It was simply called “documenta: Art of the Twentieth Century,” and in that title lay the ambitions of the project. Occurring mid-year, mid-decade, mid-century, it positioned itself as a fulcrum between the past and the future. It consciously historicized contemporary art in the process of its development and in doing so influenced all such exhibitions since...”

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