Ian Wallace

The First documenta, 1955

€ 8.00


Order now

To Wish List

Ian Wallace
The First documenta, 1955

By Ian Wallace

Series: dOCUMENTA (13): 100 Notizen - 100 Gedanken

German, English

2011. 40 pp., 1 ills.

17.80 x 25.10 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-2851-5

In 1955, the first documenta took place in Kassel. Originally planned as a one-time exhibition, it now takes place every five years and has become a primary periodic moment of exhibition and reflection on contemporary art. In this 1987 lecture, held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Ian Wallace sheds light on the first documenta. After World War II, the exhibition followed the aim to represent and rehabilitate those artists who had been vilified as “degenerate” by the National Socialist regime. The first documenta is a mirror and protagonist of the postwar cultural and political climate. Under the guidance of Arnold Bode, and with the help of Werner Haftmann, it has notably contributed to what has been called “the triumphal march of abstraction,” which helped West-Germany to reintegrate itself into European modernity.

Your Wish List is empty

Your Shopping Cart is empty

Eva ScharrerInterview

Eva Scharrer, Agent dOCUMENTA (13), interviewed by art journalists Nicole Büsing and Heiko Klaas. More »

Kathrin LuzInterview

Kathrin Luz, head of communications for dOCUMENTA (13), in conversation with art critic Annette Lettau. More »

Art Dictionary


The documenta (Kassel, Germany) is regarded as the world´s most important exhibition of contemporary art today. Ever since the first show in 1955, the documenta has made considerable contributions to the history of art.

Recommend this page