For more than four decades, Haim Steinbach has explored the psychological, aesthetic, cultural and ritualistic aspects of collecting and arranging already existing objects. His work engages the concept of “display” as a form that foregrounds objects, raising consciousness of the play of presentation. Steinbach selects and arranges objects – which range from the natural to the ordinary, the artistic to the ethnographic – thereby emphasizing their identities, inherent meanings and associations. An important influence in the growth of post-modern artistic dialogue, Steinbach’s work has radically redefined the status of the object in art.
Born in Rehovot, Israel in 1944, Haim Steinbach has lived in the United States since 1957. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he received a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1968, followed by an MFA from Yale University in Connecticut in 1973.
Throughout his career, Steinbach has exhibited his work consistently at major museums worldwide. In 2013, the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in New York presented an important solo exhibition of the artist’s work since the early 1970’s, entitled once again the world is flat, which traveled to Kunsthalle Zurich and Serpentine Gallery, London. Other notable solo presentations include The Menil Collection, Houston (2014), Statens Museum fur Kunst in Copenhagen (2013-14), Berkeley Art Museum, UC Berkeley (2005), Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna (1997), CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux (1988), Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin, Italy (1995), Kunsthalle Ritter in Austria (1994), Osmosis at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (with Ettore Spalletti) and no rocks allowed at Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (1992). In 1999, his work was presented at the Venice Biennale as part of the 47th International Art Exhibition curated by Germano Celant.
Steinbach’s work has also been included in important group exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Tate Liverpool, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Serpentine Gallery in London, New Museum in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, Musée Rodin in Paris, Scottsdale Museum of Art in Arizona and the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
The artist’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.