Exhibition dates: 12 December 2015 – 17 April 2016
He was a gallerist, independent curator, publisher, researcher, archivist, collector and bibliographer. Often billed the ‘father of conceptual art’, Seth Siegelaub was – and remains – a seminal influence on curators, artists and cultural thinkers, internationally and in Amsterdam, where he settled in the 1990s. And now the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is showing the exhibition ‘Seth Siegelaub: Beyond Conceptual Art’, devoted to the life and work of this fascinating yet still elusive figure.
Seth Siegelaub (1941–2013) is best known for his decisive role in the emergence and establishment of conceptual art in the late 1960s. But he also pursued a lesser-known occupation as a collector of handwoven textiles and bibliographer of books on the social history of textiles. This strand of his activity was eventually consolidated in the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles (CSROT), founded in 1986, and culminated in his authoritative Bibliographica Textilia Historiæ: Towards a General Bibliography on the History of Textiles Based on the Library and Archives of the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles (1997).
Acknowledging the unusual scope and essentially unclassifiable nature of Seth Siegelaub’s manifold interests and activities, the exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum reveals to what extent his projects and collections were underpinned by a deeper concern with printed matter and lists as a way of disseminating ideas. By doing so, it allows the wider public to reassess his role as one of the distinctive characters in twentieth-century exhibition-making while recognising his atypical, inquisitive and free-spirited genius.
For more information, visit the website of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.