Haim Steinbach’s practice is a reflection on the selection, arrangement and presentation of everyday objects. These objects are evocative and they come from an extensive range of sources and cultures. They are available through various “rituals in exhibition,”(1) both personal and impersonal. For instance, these rituals in exhibition may occur at home, a bazaar in Marrakesh, a supermarket in Rome, a museum, when giving and receiving presents or lighting candles. Steinbach conceives of framing devices that reveal how function and design overlap. They are structures of common use: the shelf, the table, the container, the door, the room, the house. These devices are manifest in Steinbach’s Display #27—Barn Wall (1991), currently on view at the Punta della Dogana in the exhibition Accrochage. Whether constructing his own shelves and boxes for objects, or intervening in architectural spaces with sectioned walls, Steinbach’s devices deconstruct institutional contexts that predetermine our physical movement and sociocultural norms of object allocation.
The first exhibition dedicated to Haim Steinbach’s work was held in 1988 at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux. He has been exhibited widely, including in important international institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1993), the Castello di Rivoli (1995 and 2004), and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (1997-1998). In 2013 and 2014, Steinbach’s monographic exhibition, once again the world is flat, took place at the Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, the Serpentine Gallery, London and Kunsthalle Zurich. That same year, Fresh: Haim Steinbach and Objects from the Permanent Collection presented works from the Menil Collection, Houston (2014), objects found in the museum and works by Steinbach, in combinations selected by the artist.
(1) Mario Perniola, “Rituals in Exhibition” in Haim Steinbach (Milano: Charta, 1995)