A Brief History of Curating by Hans Ulrich Obrist

  • Year2012
  • LanguageRussian
  • Edition2000
  • Pages256
  • BindingPaperback
Available on Bookmate
Garage publishing program in collaboration with Ad Marginem Press

Obrist interviews 11 well-known curators. The book is both a short introduction to the art world’s newest profession and a guide to the history of contemporary art.

A Brief History of Curating by Hans Ulrich Obrist has been published for the first time in Russian as part of the joint publishing program of Garage Center for Contemporary Culture and Ad Marginem Press.

Featuring 11 interviews with some of the most influential and forward-thinking curators of the past fifty years, A Brief History of Curating maps the history and development of the field from the early independent curators of the 1960s and 70s, to the experimental institutional programs developed in Europe and the US, the inception of Documenta, and other influential biennales and fairs.

Among those interviewed are Pontus Hulten, the first director of Centre Pompidou in Paris and independent curator Harald Szeemann. In the aftermath of the Second World War, when works by Picasso and Magritte - though to be ‘debauched and pro-communist' - were removed from American art museums, and at a time when the American abstract expressionists were hardly known in Europe, it was the heroes of Obrist's book who introduced viewers on both continents to some of the most important artists of the time. Considered to be the founding figures of curating, all 11 interviewees not only promoted the careers of artists through exhibiting their works - such as Johannes Cladders, who would later discover Joseph Beuys - but they also explained the cultural and social significance of contemporary art to a wider public audience.

The publications of the programme can be found in GARAGE Bookshop, in the main bookstores of Moscow: "Moskva", "Biblio-Globus", "Molodaya Gvardiya", "Moskovskiy Dom Knighi", "Falanster", chain of bookstores "Noviy Knizhniy", and in the Internet store ozon.ru.


Hans Ulrich Obrist (born 1968), a curator, art critic and historian, the Co-director of the Serpentine Gallery, London. He was a co-curator of the Biennial of Contemporary Art Manifesta 1, and a curator at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris in 1996. In 2009, the Art Review magazine named Obrist the most influential person in the art world.