Harald Szeemann (11 June 1933 – 18 February 2005) was a Swiss curator and artist and art historian. Having curated more than 200 exhibitions, many of which have been characterized as groundbreaking, Szeemann is said to have helped redefine the role of an art curator.It is believed that Szeemann elevated curating to a legitimate art-form itself. 

Szeemann is without doubt one of the most authoritative figures of contemporary curatorial practice. He has played a considerable role in the development of exhibition curating since the 1960s, and almost all art-historical books refer to “When attitudes become form” (1969). 


Important Shows:  

  • When Attitudes Become Form (1969) 
  • Happening and Fluxus (1970) 
  • Documenta 5 (1972) 
  • Lyon Biennial L’Autre (The Other) (1997) 
  • Visual Arts Director of 1999/2001 Venice Biennale 



Harald Szeemann: Harald Szeemann: selected writings, Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2018 

Harald Szeemann and Sigg Uli: Chinese Artists, Texts and Interviews: Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (CCAA) 1998-2002, Timezone 8 Ltd, Hong Kong, 2002. 

Harald Szeemann, Daniel Birnbaum, Lynne Cooke: Neo Rauch, Hatje Cantz Verlag GmbH & Co KG, Berlin, 2002. 

Charles Harrison and Harald Szeemann: Exhibiting the New Art: ‘Op Losse Schroeven’ and ‘When Attitudes Become Form 1969’ (Exhibition Histories), Afterall Books cademy of Fine Arts Vienna and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2010.





Interesting links: 

Hans Ulrich., Obrist, and Lionel Bovier: A Brief History of Curating, Zurich, JRP / Ringier, 2008, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53ad8347e4b04c5fb2ec922d/t/552eb514e4b0e4e510512b70/1429124372575/hans-ulrich-obrist-a-brief-history-of-curating.pdf 

Balasz Takac: “Harald Szeemann, A Curator To Remember”, Widewallshttps://www.widewalls.ch/magazine/harald-szeemann 

“Harald Szeemann Archive and Library”: The Getty Research Institute  [On line], https://www.getty.edu/research/special_collections/notable/szeemann.html 

“Harald Szeemann.” Rmedl | Metasound – Metacuratorial Practice Platform. Radical Matters – Editions/Label Metasound, http://www.radicalmatters.com/radical.matters.cd.cdr.authors.asp?tp=2&f=all&a=273 

“Harald Szeemann in Parkett – 20 Years of Artists’ Collaborations”https://www.e-flux.com/announcements/42222/new-book-parkett-20-years-of-artists-collaborations/ 

Jason Farago: “Harald Szeemann | Grandfather: a pioneer like us | New York review of books”, Swiss Institute Art Contemporary New York, https://www.swissinstitute.net/ 

Maria Bremer: “Harald Szeemann: Selected Writings ;Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions “,Critique d’art [En ligne], http://journals.openedition.org/critiquedart/37442 

Tobia Bezzola, Hal Foster, Jean-Marc Poinsot. “Harald Szeemann Individual Methodology”, Le Magacin, Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, in collaboration with the Department of Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art, London, 2008, https://www.lespressesdureel.com/EN/ouvrage.php?id=1125 

Getty Library Catalog: https://primo.getty.edu/primo-explore/search?query=any,contains,Harald%20Szeemann&tab=all_gri&search_scope=DIGITAL&vid=GRI&offset=0 







“When Attitudes Become Form” (Ausstellung 1969): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-P6yxZPDBQ 

ARTECINEMA 2016 – Harald Szeemann – Appunti sulla vita di un sognatore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDFc_aSuXTk 

Harald Szeemann – Ein Portrait: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k7CGQ4ioi0 

A Closer Look: Being Harald Szeemann: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu6zn-V11vI&t=9s 

Reconsidering Harald Szeemann: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRQrpLApqRE 

Joseph Beuys-Ausstellung von Harald Szeemann (Zürich 1993): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml4RUcStBCw