Art Exhibition Class

Exhibition Planning &
Gallery Management

Curatorial Practices > Digital Cliff Notes



CURATORIAL PRACTICE First Wave 1900-1960s: Artist / Star Curator Second Wave 1960-1980s: Collaborative Curator ThirdWave:1990s-Present: Collective Curating
Question Cannonization as History Making Revisionist History as rewriting history Hybrid and Interlocking Histories
Method Managerial Model Network Model Multi-Polar Model
Vision Aesthetic Effects Cultural Affects Social Impact
Theory Meduim Specificity Interdisciplinary Practices Transdisciplinary and Transnational Exchange
Narrative Art Making in the Expanded field of Experimentation Relational Practices in the Expanded Field of Experience Performativivty in the Expanded Field of Concerns
Direction Spectacle of the Mega Exhibition Spectacle of Elsewhere Spectacle of the Exhibition as Laboratory
Space Geographical Survey and Local Salon Geographic Displacement / Traveling Exhibition Geographic Specificity / International Biennial
Power Cultural Globalization Financial Globalization Ideological Globalization
Politic Modernization and Industrialization Postmodernism and Post-Industiral Capital Pluralism / Neobaroque and Affective-Emotional Capital
Dialectic Exposure / Autonomy Inclusion / Exclusion Access / Advocacy


Primary Dialectic: Thesis: Random Coolections, No Meduim Specficity / Anti-Thesis: Monoculture-Mono-meduim / Synthesis: Multicultural-Multi-Meduim


Waves of Pyscho-socio-cultural Development: Commons / Richards / Paiget / Aurobindo

Two Dialetic Triads: Thesis, Anti-Thesis and Synthesis, 4th Wave becomes a new first wave.

Curatorial Design: 1st Wave: Guradians, Symbolic (Pre-operational) | Second Wave: Keepers, Conceptual (Pre-Operational) | Third Wave: Curators, Concrete-Operational, (Role Mind) | Fourth Wave: Exhbition Makers/Star Curators, Formal-Operational, (Rational Mind) |

Curatorial Practice: First Wave: Exhbition Makers/Star Curators, Formal-Operational, (Rational Mind) | Second Wave: Collabortaive Curator, Pluralistic Mind (Meta-systemic, Planetary Mind) | Third Wave: Collective Curators, Low to High Vision Logic (Cross-Paradigmatic, Higher Mind, Global Mind | 4th Wave Consumate Curator (Illuminiated-Intuitive Para-Mind, Meta-Mind, Transglobal) |




1. Question: (New) Cannonization as History Making

The history of the "curatorial" avant-garde superceeded the primacy that the academy gave to "history" painting. The race to make history with a new movement, style, or perspective outstripped the depiction of history as so many allegories about the nation state, prized individuals and technical achievements in genre painting.

Three ages of curating: Reclaim History the history of the ancients / Modernize the themes of the ancients / Break with the themes of the ancients.

Court Painters: Hans Durer, Han Holbein the younger, Anthony Van Dyke, Diego Valezquez, Peter Paul Rubens, Charles Le Brun, Francisco Goya.

Academic Painters: William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gustave Moreau, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Jean-Leon Gerome, Fredirc Lord Leighton, Jacques Louis-David, Sir Joshua Reynolds.  

Modern Painters: Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gaugiun, Edward Munch, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock. 


2. Method: Managerial Model

Artist and curators began to appeal directly to market interests rather than state interests, but the curatorial methodology here was one of commerical display and organizational know-how, i.e., a business model.

Court Commmission / Academic Competition / Salon Exhibition


3. Vision: Aesthetic Effects

The experience of ”The New” became more important than the historical preservation of techniques, traditioanl allegories and genre specific motifs.

First Wave Exhibtions: The Curatorial Avant-Garde

Salon des Refuses (The salon of the refused), Paris 1863

First impressionist Exhibtion, Premiere Exposition de la Societe Anonyme Cooperatives des Artistes, Paintres, Sclupteurs, Graveurs, etc. (The First Impression Exhibition), Paris 1874. 35, boulevard de capucines, April 15 – May 15, 1874. 

Salon d’Hiver de la Societe des Artists Independents (The First Slaon of Independents), Paris, 1884. Pavilion de la Ville de Paris, Champs-Elysees, Dec 1884-January 1885. (Neo-Impressionism, Cubism, Divisionism, Pointalism)

Salon d’Automne, 1905. Grand Palais des Vahmp-sElyees, Oct 18 – November 15. (The Fauves)

Asstellung Kunstlergruppe Brucke (The first Brucke Exhibition), Dresden-Lobtau, 1906. Showroom of the Karl-Max Seifert Lamp Factory, Grobelstrasse 17, Dresden-Laotua. Sept 24-Oct 31. (Die Bruke)

Die Erste Ausstellung de Redaktion Der Blaue Reiter (The First Blaue Reiter exhibition) Munich 1911, Modern Galerie-Heinrich Thanhauser 7, Dec 3 – Jan 3. (Blue Reiter)

Les Peintres Futuristes Italiens (Exhibition of the Works by the Italian Futurist Painters), Paris, 1912, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, 15, rue Richepance, Feb 5-24. (Futurism)

0.10: The Last Futurist Exhibition, Petrograd, 1915, Dobychina gallery, Adamini house, Petrograd St.Petersberg, Dec 19-January 19. (Dada)

First Papers of Surrealism, New York, 1942. Coordinating council of French Relief Societies, 451 Madison Avenue, Oct 15 – Nov 7. (Surrealist introduction abroad)

The Ninth Street Show, 1951. 60 East 9th Street, New York, May 21 – June 10. Curated by members of “The Club”. (1st and 2nd generation Ab-Ex)


4. Theory: Meduim Specificity

Artist as an Artisan was viewed as a "general guildsman" who possessed the virture of craft; Artist as Artist was viewed as being above the station of tradesman and was on par with philosophical and scientific pursuits; the artist as creator or cultural producer is a specialist and in the modern era, a genuis in specialization or meduim specific operations.

artist as guildsman /  artist as court painter-state servant / artist as an inspired genius 


5. Narrative: Art Making in the Expanded field of Experimentation

The first break came during the Renaissance when artists protested being held in the same regard as day laborers. They formed the academy in 1648 in order to distinguish themselves from artisans. The second break came in-between the end of the monarchy and the rise of modernity, when artist broke with state sponsored support. In this regard, self-representation and artist organized exhibitions were crucial in establishing “advanced” art in the 19th and 20th centuries. 


6. Direction: Spectacle of the Mega Exhibition

From commisioned and juried exhibition toward open exhibitions


7. Space: Geographical Survey and Local Salon

Salon Display vs. New styles of display: From "skying" pictures toward equality of dispaly


8. Power: Cultural Globalization

The primacy of individual forms of artistic expression vs. the valuies of the social world they inhabit.


9. Politic: Modernization and Industrialization

As state patronage declined in the 18th century, private sales became an artists primary means of support and salons, fairs, and galleries became the primary means for making private sales.


10. Dialectic: Exposure / Autonomy

The Birth of the Modern Exhibition Hall

Even though the academy was hostile to commerce and deeply embedded in making historical paintings for the state, they agreed to have the first salons in 1667.

By 1699 the exhibitions growth and popularity prompted a move to the Grand Galerie of the Louvre and then again in 1725 to the Louvre’s larger Galerie d’Apollon and Salon Carre from which the word salon would come to characterize group survey exhibitions for generations to come.

The first open salon had 794 entries in 1791 and more than twice that the next year, reaching as many as 5,434 entries by 1870.

The salon had become a place for criticism, conversation, and was, in a sense, the first modern public space for the display of artwork.






Question: Revsionist History

Multi-culturalism versus Mono-culture


Method: Network Model

The social world vs. Autonomous object


Vision: Cultural Affects

Pastiche, Parody and Self-reflexivity vs. ”The New”


Theory: Interdisciplinary Practices

Intertextuality, Interactvity and Inter-cultural exchange


Narrative: Relational Practices in the Expanded field of Experience

Value of the Idea, the act and the action vs. Market interests


Direction: Spectacle of Elsewhere

Cultural Tourism, rise of the Second Wave Biennial Circuit and the North and South versions of the Global Grand Tour


Space: Geographical Displacement / Traveling Exhibition

The New Internationalism in exhibition culture


Power: Cultural Globalization

New Genres vs. New styles of making


Politic: Financial Globalization

Beyond the first and Third World Dichotomy


Dialectic: Inclusion / Exclusion

Curatorial vision vs. Juried exhibitions



Harold Seezman (Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form: Works, Concepts, Processes, Situations, Information) 

Germano Celant (Arte Povera + Azioni Povere)

Seth Siegelaub (the January Show)

Kynsaston McShine (Primary Structures and Information)

Christos M. Joachimides and Norman Rosenthal (The New Spirit in Painting)



Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form: Works, Concepts, Processes, Situations, Information. 1969, Knsthalle Berlin, March 22-April 27 (Primacy of the Idea over formal purity)

New Realists, 1962, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, October 31 – December 1. (Pop art)

Primary Structures, curated by Kybastin McShine, 1966, Jewish Museum, New York, April 27- June 12. (Minimalism)

Arte Povera + Azioni Povere, 1968. Amalfi Town, Arsenale and surrounding area, Oct 4-6. (Art Povera)

January 5-31, 1969, or The January Show, Curated by Seth Siegelaub, 44 East 52nd Street, New York. (Conceptual art)

Information, MoMA, 1970. July 2 – September 20. (Instituional critique)

A New Spirit in Painting, 1981, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Jan 15 – March 18 (Neo-Expression)





Question: Hybrid and Interlocking Histories

Pluralism vs. Postmodernism


Method: Multi-Polar Model

The global world vs. The social world


Vision: Social Impact

Relevance vs. Pastiche, Parody and Self-reflexivity


Theory: Transdisciplinary and Transnational Exchange

Post-Avant-Garde vs. The Neo-avant-garde


Narrative: Performativity in the Expanded Field of Concerns

Dialogue, exchange and relationality vs. Value of the Idea, the act and the action


Direction: Spectacle of the Exhibition as Laboratory

New modes of interaction vs. New Genres


Space: Geogrpahic Specificity / International Biennial


Power: Ideological Globalization


Politic: Pluralism, Affective Captial


Dialectic: Access / Advocacy



Harold Seezman

Okwui Enwezor w/Sarat Maharaj, Octavio Zaya, Carlos BAsualado, Ute Meta Bauer, Susanne Ghez an Mark Nash

Damien Hirst

Elizabeth Sussman, w/Thelma Golden, John G. Hanhardt and Lisa Phillips

Nicholas Bourriaud



Sonsbeek 71, Sonsbeek Park, Arnhem, and the sites around the netherlands, June 19 – August 6th

Documenta 5, Individual Mythologies 

Documenta 10, Various sites in Kassel, Germany. June 21 – Sept 28.

Documenta 11, Various sites in Kassel, Germany. June 8 – Sept 15.

Freeze, PLA Building, Docklands, London, 1988. Part I: August 6-22, Part II: August 12-October 12, Part III: Ended in Sept 29.

Sensation, 1997, royal Academy of the Arts, London, UK, Sep 18 – Dec 28.

The Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York, Feb 17 to June 31. 

Traffic, 1996. CAPC Musee d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, Jan 26 – March 24.

Manifesta is a pan-European Biennial with each edition presented in a different city, such as Spain, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Italy, etc




What Manifested in the 20th and 21st Century?


INDIVIDUALISM: Salon de Refuse to Attitudes Become Form, POST-INDIVIDUALISM: When From is Attitude (Relational Aesthetics)

OPTICALITY: 1st Impressionist Exhibition to Op-Art. POST-OPTICALITY / INTERACTIVITY: New Media Art

INCLUSIVITIY/ABSOLUT AUTONOMY: Salon des Independents to Feminism, Women House . POST-AUTONOMY: Intersectionality

BOHEMIAN-COUNTERCULTURE: Die Bruke to Art Povera, Ephemeral Art. POST-COUNTER CULTURE: Occupy, The invisble committe, etc. 


AESTHETICS OF THE FUTURE (Machinic): Futurism to Pop Art, Minimalism, POST-FUTURES (Computational Real-Time Modeling): Accelerationism

ABSOLUTIST FREEDOM: Last Futurist Ex. SOCIO-POLITICAL FREEDOM: The Bulldozer exhibition

MULIT-PERSPECTIVAL: Cubism to Fluxus, Happening, Guati Group, Vienna Expressionists. HYPER-PERSPECTIVAL: Anthroposcene

UNCONSICOUS: Surrealism to Institutional critique. POST-INDIVIDUAL-INSTITUTIONAL: Global critique


EXPRESSIVITY OF THE SELF: Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, etc. POST-EXPRESSIONISM: The New Spirit in Painting, Neo-Ex., Neo-Geo… YBA (Young British Artists) 







Week 1

Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity.

By Terry Smith, Okwui and Nancy Condee.

[  ] Chapter 1: Contemporaniety between Modernity and Postmodernity. By Antonio Negri

[  ] Chapter 4: The Topology of Contemporary Art. By Boris Groys

[  ] Chapter 5: On the Contingency of Modernity and the Persistance of Cannons. By Monica Amor.

[  ] Chapter 7: Double Modernity, Para Modernity. By Jonathan Hay.

[  ] Chapter 15: Emancipation or Attachments? By Bruno Latour.

[  ] Chapter 18: The Giftshop at the End of History. By McKenzie Wark


Week 2

Curating in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Gavin Wade

[  ] A short chronology of curatorial incidents in the 20th century.


Week 3

Salon to Biennial: Exhibitions that Made Art History, Volume I: 1863-1959.

By Bruce Altschuler.

[  ] Introduction.


Week 4

Biennials and Beyond: Exhibitions that Made Art History, Volume II: 1962-2002.

By Bruce Altschuler

[  ] Introduction.


Week 5

Sweet Sixties: Specters and Spirits of a Parallel Avant-Garde.

By Georg Schollhommer and Ruben Arevschatyan.


Week 6

Biennuals, Triennials and Documenta: The Exhibitions that Created Contemporary Art.

By Charles Green and Anthony Gardner

[  ] Chapter 1: 1972: The Rise of the Star Curator

[  ] Chapter 6: 2002: Cosmopolitianism

[  ] Chapter 7: 2003: Delegating Authority


Week 7

Thinking About Exhibitions

By Reesa Greenberg, Bruce Ferguson and Sandy Nairne

[  ] Chapter 4: For Example, Documenta, or How is Art History Produced? By Walter Grasskemp

[  ] Chapter 13: From Museum Curator to Exhibition Autuer: Inveting a Singualr Position. By Nathalie Heinich and Mark Poolak


Week 8

Beyond the Box: Diverging Curatorial Practices

Edited by Melanie Townsend

[  ] Chapter 5: Biennials, Biennials, Biennials, Biennials, Biennials, Biennials, Biennials. By Ivo Mesquita


Week 9

The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Cultures.

By Patrick O’Neill

[  ] Chapter 2: Biennial Culture and the Emergence of a Globalized Curatorial Context of Biennials and Large-Scale Exhibitions Since 1989


Week 10

CASE STUDY: When Attitude Becomes Form


Exhibiting New Art: ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ 1969

By Christian Rattemeyer and other Authors

[  ] Introduction: Exhbiting New Art. By Teresa Gleadowe

[  ] ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ (Works – Concepts – Processes – Situations – Information’, Kunstalle Bern

[  ] The Prodigy Makers Trilogy: Three Exhbitions: Bern, Amsterdam, Rotterdam. By Tommaso Trini, 1969

[  ] ‘Op Losse Schroeven’ and ‘When Attitudes Become Form’: Public Reception in the Netherlands and Switzerland

By Steven ten Thije

[  ] Avant-Garde Marketing: ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ and Philip Morris’s Sponsorship. By  Claudia Di Lecce


Week 11

Harold Szeemann: Individual Methodologies.

By Harald Szeemann, Hal Foster, Jean-Marc Poinsot and Tobia Bezzola.


Week 12

When Attitude Becomes Form: Bern 1969.

By Claire Bishop, Benjamin Buchloh, Germano Celant, Miuccia Prada.


Week 13

A Brief History of Curating

Edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist

[  ] Interview: Harold Szeeman


Week 14

Talking Contemporary Curating

Edited by Terry Smith

[  ] Chapter 10: Re-curating Attitudes, Bern 1969/Venice 2013. By Germano Celant.

[  ] Chapter 11: When Ideas Become Form Become Exhibitions. By Jens Hoffman.

Cautionary Tales: Critical Curating

[  ] The Bias of the World: Curating After Szeeman & Hopps. By David Levi Strauss



STAGES Psychosocial Crises Radius of Significant Relations Related Elements of Social Order Psychosocial Modalities Psychosexual Stages
Church Religion: Trust vs. Mistrust Social bond: Priest, Lord Cosmic Order Judgment: To get / give to the church Oral phase - Maternal relation to the church (tradesman)
State Religion and State form: Autonomy vs. Shame, doubt Nationalism: Monarch "Law and Order" Law: To hold / let go as self-control Anal stage - Paternal relation to the state (craftsman)
Guild Free Trade: Initiative vs. Guilt Continental: Community, "Basic Family" Idealization: archetypes / hierarchy of genres Marketplace: To make (go after) / to make like (stylist similarity) Infantile-Genital period: Guild rules and societal expectations (Guildsman)
Capitalism Democracy: Industry vs. Inferiority Inter-continental: Nation styles and Schools of thought Innovations in technique and stlye (Loss of idealization, hiearchy)  Avant-guardism: To make things (style) / To make things together (school) "Latency" period: before the rise of global modernisms (Academic)
Anti-State Modernity: Indentity and Repudiation vs. Identity Diffusion Globalization: Peer Groups and Outgroups Ideological Perspectives: Age of Manifestos Rejection of academicism: To be oneself (or not to be) / To share being oneself Puberty: Rejection of Paternal law and maternal rule (Infant Terrible)
Anti-Market Post-modernity: Intimacy and solidarity (identity politics) vs. Isolation (Modern genuis) Beyond center and periphery distinction: Partnership Competition and Cooperation Patterns of Cooperation and Competition New Genres: To lose and find oneself in another Genitality: Social congress and interaction (Socially engaged) 
Educational Turn Pluralism: Generativity (performativity) vs. Self-absorbtion  Transcultural exchange: Greater division of labor / labors Currents of Education and Tradition

Shared responsibility: To make be / To take care of

Mature Adulthood (Globally aware)
4th Turning Interconnectivity: Integrity vs. Depair

Integral Relations: Humanity and global citizenry


To be, through having been

To face not being

Mature Old Age



STAGES Psychosocial Crises Radius of Significant Relations Related Elements of Social Order Psychosocial Modalities Psychosexual Stages
I Trust vs. Mistrust Maternal Person Cosmic Order

To Get

To give in return



(Incorparative modes)

II Autonomy vs. Shame, doubt Paternal Person "Law and Order"

To hold (on)

To let go

Anal-Urethral, Muscular (Retentive-Eliminative)
III Initiative vs. Guilt Basic Family Ideal Prototypes

To make (=going after) 

To "make like" (=playing)

Infantile-Genital, Locomotor (Intrusive, Inclusive) 
IV Industry vs. Inferiority "Neighborhood" School Technological Elements To make things (=completing) To make things together "Latency"
V Indentity and Repudiation vs. Identity Diffusion Peer Groups and Outgroups; Models of Leadership Ideological Perspectives To be oneself (or not to be) To share being oneself Puberty
VI Intimacy and solidarity vs. Isolation Partnership in Friendship, Sex, Competition, Cooperation Patterns of Cooperation and Competition To lose and find oneself in another Genitality
VII Generativity vs. Self-absorbtion Divided labor and shared household Currents of Education and Tradition

To make be

To take care of

VIII Integrity vs. Depair


"My kind" 


To be, through having been

To face not being





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