PRINT November 1986


SOME SAY THAT ALL ARTISTS, no matter what media they employ, constantly reformulate whatever single subject, more than any other, has impressed itself deeply in each of them. What varies from work to work is the emphasis with which that subject is realized. If we accept this thesis, then surely in the case of Christian Boltanski we can trace the enduring subject of his art to his childhood in a Jewish family in Paris, France, during the years after World War II. From this time on the idea of childhood has had special meaning in Boltanski’s imagination. It marked him like a wound, yet a paradoxical wound, both an injury and the root of his artistic ideas and images. his subject through which to arrive at a visual language.

During the period that left Boltanski with such strong impressions that they became the inspiration for his art, his father rarely left home alone—he was usually accompanied

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