Kunsthaus Graz: Damage Control

Damage Control

Art and Destruction Since 1950

14.11.2014-15.02.2015 10:00-17:00

Opening: 13.11.2014, 7 p.m.

Organized by Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (USA) in association with Mudam Luxembourg and Kunsthaus Graz

Curated by: Kerry Brougher (Director, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles), Russell Ferguson (Professor, Department of Art, University of California, Los Angeles)

Project coordinator (Graz): Katrin Bucher Trantow 

Since the mid-20th century artists of various disciplines have demonstrated a growing interest in the concept of destruction or dismantling. Damage Control examines this theme from a historical perspective.

The art of our time has again and again reflected a world of violence: as a reaction to the two world wars, to the atomic bomb, or to images of annihilation in the media. Destruction pervades art production and has been employed by artists as a means of conveying institutional critique or expressing cultural anxiety while, often, keeping specific emotional or cultural references at a distance.

Damage Control presents a phenomenon that extends beyond art: in particular tracing history from a post war period influenced by American media images, but the exhibition also refers to how today’s fears are determined by current threats such as terrorism and natural disasters – whether real or imagined.

Drawn in part from the Hirshhorn Museum collection, the exhibition brings together groundbreaking works of international significance not just from the branches of painting, film and photography but also from sculpture, installation and performance. 

Participating artists:

Ai Weiwei, Roy Arden, John Baldessari, Walead Besthy, Monica Bonvicini, Mircea Cantor, Vija Celmins, Jake und Dinos Chapman, Bruce Conner, Thomas Demand, Luc Delahaye, Sam Durant, Harold Edgerton, Dara Friedman, Cyprien Gaillard, Ori Gersht, Jack Goldstein, Douglas Gordon, Félix González-Torres, Mona Hatoum, Larry Johnson, Yves Klein, Michael Landy, Christian Marclay, Gordon Matta-Clark, Steve McQueen, Gustav Metzger, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Juan Muñoz, Laurel Nakadate, Yoshitomo Nara, Arnold Odermatt, Yoko Ono, Pipilotti Rist, Ed Ruscha, Thomas Ruff, Joe Sola, Shōmei Tōmatsu, Jean Tinguely, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool 

Intervention Expand Box

The international tour of Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950 received major funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art, and is also made possible through generous support from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Japan Foundation.


Expanding upon the exhibition in the Kunsthaus Graz, the BRUSEUM is showing the exhibition Damage Control. Body Art and Destruction 1968-1972, which is devoted to a special aspect of artistic destruction: Body Art in its early stages from the angle of Actionist self-harming.

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