Haim Steinbach, Display #6, 1979, wood, metal brackets, wallpaper, polyester-and-glitter vest, metal hanger, wool dog, ceramic vase, wooden box, cotton lion, lamp, seashell, wooden candlesticks, candles, painted stones. Installation view, artist’s studio, New York.


Haim Steinbach

CCS Bard Hessel Museum
Bard College Campus
June 22 - December 20

Curated by Tom Eccles and Johanna Burton

Conspicuous in his absence from the generation-defining 1986 exhibition that catapulted Ashley Bickerton, Peter Halley, Jeff Koons, and Meyer Vaisman (forever after known as the Sonnabend Four) into the blue-chip empyrean, fifth wheel Haim Steinbach went from white-hot to “underrecognized” in the hiccup of a SoHo season. Twenty-seven years on, this bolt-from-the-blue survey, tracking the artist’s career from his grid-based paintings of the 1970s to today’s large-scale installations, means to lay that epithet to rest. Surely the artist’s signature Formica shelves displaying tidy rows of period-perfect product rank among the indelible tokens of their time. I, for one, cannot think of another artist whose output I would be greedier to assess with fresh eyes.

Travels to Kunsthalle Zürich, spring 2014.