Hans Haacke

Alternative Name(s):
Date of Birth: August 12, 1936
Place of Birth: Cologne, Germany
Date of Death: -
Focus: Mixed-media conceptual art
Art movement: Contemporary art
Nationality: German-American

Famous Hans Haacke Artwork

Hans Haacke Biography

“Hans Haacke studied art at Staatliche Werkakademie in the city of Kassel, Germany, between 1956 and 1960. He furthered his art education at Tyler School of Fine art at Temple University in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., between 1961 and 1962.

Haacke can best be described as a radical political artist who does not pull his punches. Since the 1970s, he has used his art to comment on political and sociological issues. His body of work from that period could be considered the politicization of art.

Haacke was particularly critical of companies that operated in South Africa during the era of Apartheid. His 1985 piece, entitled Burlesque, makes a harsh commentary on a company that manufactured both weapons and shoes for the government of South Africa.

The artist did not begin his artistic career as a polemical: Haacke’s earliest works were concerned with the physical and natural world.

There is a distinct timeline to his works:

1950s: His works include photographs.

1960s: This is his minimalist period, and includes pieces such as the Condensation Cube. Haacke created a collection of works called Systems during this time.

1970s: His mixed-media pieces become highly politicized, and they make powerful statements.

More recently, Haacke’s work has included the design of public memorials. Notable memorials include:

  • For the People in 2000 at the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany
  • Memorial Rosa Luxemburg in 2006 at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Haacke has made New York City his home since 1965, and he taught at the Cooper Union in New York between 1967 and 2002. He has been awarded many prizes, which include the 1993 Golden Lion of the Biennale di Venezia.”