Haim Steinbach, Adirondack tableau (Display #23), 1988, Adirondack wood hog-pen boards; Adirondack wood furniture; hand carved, painted wood Barred owls, 274.32cm x 670.56cm x 168.91cm, Collection Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Gift of Sandra and Gerald Fineberg, Boston.

Haim Steinbach, Display #7, 1979, Installation view, Artists Space, New York, NY, USA, Wood shelves with metal brackets; wallpaper; wood vase with feathers; framed stones collection on wood easels; Majolica pitcher; glass cube on rock; wooden Chinese fisherman; child's lunchbox, (dimensions variable), photo credit: David Lubarsky.

Haim Steinbach, Display #7B, 1979/2013, Installation view, once again the world is flat, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA, (June 22, 2013-ecember 20, 2013),nPhotograph: Jean Vong.

Haim Steinbach, Untitled (insoles, corks) 1997, MDF shelf; foam insoles; corks, 48.3cm x 124.5cm x 39.4cm, Courtesy of the artist.

Haim Steinbach, after all, how do you Define 'Objet d'Art?'

Haim Steinbach, basics 1986, Plastic laminated wood shelf; polyester, plastic and foam "Parabears", in cotton camouflage uniforms, felt hats; vinyl and metal bear, 76.2cm x 134.6cm x 31.8cm, Courtesy of the artist.

Haim Steinbach, Shelf with Annie, 1981, Wood, plastic masks, contact paper shelf; plaster, paint figurine, 63.5cm x 55.88cm x 35.56cm, Courtesy of the artist.

Haim Steinbach, Shelf with Cookie Jar, 1982, Wood, paint, spray paint shelf; plaster, paint skull, 73.7cm x 48.3cm x 30.5cm, Courtesy of the artist.

Haim Steinbach, Shelf with Ajax, 1981,Wood and plastic shelf; “Ajax” cleanser can, 55.8 cm x 35.56cm x 35.56cm, Courtesy of the artist.


Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
+ 44 20 7402 6075
Haim Steinbach:
once again the world is flat.

March 5- April 21, 2014

Once Agaom the Wprld is Flat includes key works from Haim Steinbach's 40-year career, during which he has re-defined the status of the object in art. On display will be major new works, reconfigured historical installations and a number of grid-based paintings from the early 1970s.

Up until the mid-1970s, Steinbach explored minimalism’s limitations through painting calculated placements of coloured bars around monochrome squares. He then abandoned painting to create work using the material linoleum, made to resemble a diverse range of historical floor designs. By the late 1970s, Steinbach had begun to investigate spatial questions, honing in on the daily rituals of collecting and arranging objects.

Steinbach's interest in the fundamental human practice of collecting is explored through his placing of objects from a variety of contexts on shelving units, which range from handmade constructions to modular building systems. For this exhibition Steinbach has also invited the public to participate by presenting their salt and pepper shakers in the exhibition, forming a new work for the exhibition. Each with their own history and story, the salt and pepper shakers carry meaning from a former context and, through their display, the connection between the private and the public sphere is made.

The Serpentine has also invited curators from a range of private and public institutions – including the Zabludowicz Collection and the V&A Museum of Childhood in London and Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery – to select works from their collections to be incorporated in the exhibition. Through juxtaposing paintings, sculpture, artefacts and children’s playthings, Steinbach uncovers alternative meanings inherent in the objects, while subverting traditional notions of display and hierarchy. 

A ground-breaking presentation of design, curated by influential London-based Italian designer Martino Gamper, runs concurrently at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Furthering the Serpentine’s commitment to contemporary design – following Konstantin Grcic’s Design Real in 2009– both exhibitions highlight objects that have made a significant impact on our lives and offer new perspectives on material culture.

once again the world is flat. is programmed in collaboration with New York’s CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art and the Kunsthalle Zürich. Following the Serpentine presentation the exhibition will travel to Zürich, where it will be transfigured once again.

Haim Steinbach was born in 1944 in Rehovot, Israel, and has lived in New York since 1957.  Following his historic exhibition at Artists Space in 1979, Steinbach has exhibited internationally at institutions including Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux and Haus der Kunst, Munich.  His work was included in Documenta IX and Sydney Biennale in 1992, 1993 and 1997 Venice Biennales, 2000 Biennale de Lyon, and La Triennale, Paris 2012.

Haim Steinbach, An Offering – Collectibles of Jan Hoet (Display #30), 1992, Wood; objects, 230 cm x 300 cm Collection, SMAK, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, photo credit: Dirk Pauwels.

Haim Steinbach, Salt and pepper collection, 2013, Installation view, Statens Museum, Copenhagen, 20th & 21st century salt and pepper shakers (unknown designers), Dimensions variable, Photo credit: Anders Sune Berg.

Haim Steinbach, Salt and pepper collection, 2013, Installation view, Statens Museum, Copenhagen, 20th & 21st century salt and pepper shakers (unknown designers), Dimensions variable, Photo credit: Anders Sune Berg.

Portrait of Haim Steinbach, Photograph © François-Marie Banier.

Haim Steinbach, Untitled (gate, Bento boxes, dish, wrappers, dragon container, toys, figurine, owl, Daluma, trunk, dumplings, bells), 2006, Birch plywood, plastic laminate and glass box; etc., 111.4cm x 195.6cm x 34.5cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Haim Steinbach, this stuff belongs to me - Collectibles of Mommy Mel, (Malvena Smith), 1997, MDF shelf; ceramic dishes; wicker basket with embroidered, cloth and stuffed velour appliques, 53.3cm x 124.5cm x 40.6cm, Courtesy of the artist.

Haim Steinbach, Untitled (daybed, coffin), 1989, Walnut veneered wood box; steel and leather Mies van der Rohe daybed; wood coffin; paper maché skeleton, 176.2 x 257.8 x 208.6 cm), Collection of FRAC Bretagne, France, photo credit: David Lubarsky.