Where Art Might Happen

The Early Years of CalArts


Venue: Space02

Curated and organized by Philipp Kaiser and Christina Végh for the Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover. In collaboration with Katrin Bucher Trantow and Barbara Steiner, Kunsthaus Graz
Assistant curator:
 Elisabeth Schlögl
Exhibition design: studio-itzo, Rainer Stadlbauer

About the exhibition

This group exhibition presents the legendary founding years (1970–1980) of the American art university ‘California Institute of the Arts’ (CalArts), which gathered numerous well-known teachers and personalities such as Allan Kaprow, Judy Chicago, John Baldessari or Alison Knowles and brought forth such artists as Mike Kelly, Stephen Prina or Suzanne Lacy.

The exhibition with the title Where Art Might Happen. The Early Years of CalArts opens up a multi-perspectival view of the college: trends existing in parallel that came from Concept Art, feminism and Fluxus, as well as the school’s radical pedagogical concepts, were unified for the first time. Besides artworks and archive material prepared by experts, oral history interviews with 13 artists were filmed for the exhibition, offering insights into the situation at the time. The exhibition was curated by Philipp Kaiser (independent curator, Los Angeles) and Christina Végh (Director of the Kestner Gesellschaft). The exhibition was a research project in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin (Annette Jael Lehmann, Verena Kittel) and metaLAB (at) Harvard, Boston (Jeffrey Schnapp, Kim Albrecht) and was on show in the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover from August 30 to November 10, 2019. From July to September 2020 the group show will be on display in the Kunsthaus Graz, where Barbara Steiner and Karin Bucher Trantow will strengthen the curatorial team and point out links to Austrian developments in a lavish accompanying programme.

Participating artists: Michael Asher, David Askevold, John Baldessari, Ericka Beckman, Ross Bleckner, Barbara Bloom, Troy Brauntuch, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Klaus vom Bruch, Judy Chicago, Eric Fischl, Simone Forti, Jack Goldstein, Douglas Huebler, Stephan von Huene, Allan Kaprow, Mike Kelley, Alison Knowles, Suzanne Lacy, Daniel Joseph Martinez, John Miller, Susan Mogul, Matt Mullican, Ann Noël, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Stephen Prina, Charlemagne Palestine, Anthony Ramos,  Ulrike Rosenbach, David Salle, Miriam Schapiro, Mira Schor, Jim Shaw, Wolfgang Stoerchle, Mitchell Syrop, Carrie Mae Weems, James Welling, Faith Wilding, Christopher Williams, Emmett Williams and guests Richard Kriesche, Margot Pilz et. al.


Kunsthaus Graz

Lendkai 1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9200


Opening Hours

Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm

Guided Tours
Please visit our calendar.
Guided tours on advance notice

Mon-Thurs 9am-12pm
Fri, Sat 9am-2am
Sun 9am - 8pm
T: +43-316/714 957


24th/25th December 2023